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D Suresh Babu speaks about 'Narappa', 'Hiranyakashyapa', Abhiram's debut


Producer D Suresh Babu is planning to re-release 'Narappa' in theatres on December 13 for just a day. In this interview, he says that the collections be spent on noble causes. The producer also talks about Rana Daggubati's multi-billion project 'Hiranyakashyapa', son Abhiram's debut, and more.

The collections from the re-release of 'Narappa' will be donated towards noble causes. I have been carrying out philanthropic activities both directly and indirectly. I believe that funding education and skilling activities are the most durable form of philanthropy. I have been actively engaged with Vignana Jyothi Educational Institute.

'Narappa' was not released in theatres in 2021 because it was produced by me in partnership with another producer and that producer wanted a direct OTT release. It was Venkatesh's personal wish, though, that it be released in theatres first. We would have made more profits had it been a theatrical release. As for 'Drushyam 2', even it would have made better profits from a theatrical release. The box-office result of the Hindi version of 'Drushyam 2' makes me believe so. (The Hindi film has netted more than Rs 200 Cr in India). I have regret because both films would have been theatrical hits. That said, it was inevitable at that point of time. We took the direct-to-OTT release decision owing to the pandemic.

We are releasing 'Narappa' just for a day because its rights are with Amazon Prime Video and they can't be expected to let us release it for days on end. They agreed to the one-day release only because I have had healthy equations with the OTT platform.

Recently, on a talk show, Nandamuri Balakrishna garu asked me why I was not part of a delegation that lobbied with the government for a hike in cinema ticket prices. It's my personal opinion that ticket prices shouldn't be high. They have to be accessible to the middle-class audience. A case-by-case basis for hikes can be mooted if a high-budget film needs it. Generally speaking, though, cinema ticket prices have to be low.

Recently, multiplex chains floated low ticket prices on an experimental basis by selling tickets at just Rs 70. The halls ran to packed houses at that time. Revenues can go up if ticket rates are made affordable on a sustainable basis. It's not easy to bring every stakeholder on a common platform, though.

Venkatesh and Rana Daggubati are doing 'Rana Naidu', an action crime drama series, for Netflix. It will be dubbed into English as well. It has the potential to become an international success.

My son Abhiram is going to make a debut with 'Ahimsa' soon. I didn't expect him to become an actor. When I asked him to look after business instead of becoming an actor, he told me he would like to fulfill his grandfather's wish to become an actor. I am yet to watch the final copy of 'Ahimsa'. Teja is directing it. Currently, VFX works are going on.

About Rana's big-ticket project 'Hiranyakashyapa': The film is not going to be directed by Gunasekhar. He is out of the project. It will be helmed by someone who is a big filmmaker.

Updated on December 10, 2022