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Director Kiran Korrapati talks about 'Ghani', Varun Tej

Monday, April 4, 2022 • Telugu Comments
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'Ghani' hits the screens on April 8. In this interview, debutant director Kiran Korrapati talks about the film, working with Varun Tej, what makes the film a distinctive sports-based commercial entertainer, and more.


I worked under the likes of VV Vinayak, Harish Shankar, Jayanth C Paranje, and Lawrence Master. I worked on a few movies starring Ravi Teja. When I was in Chennai, cinema entered my consciousness. After I migrated to Hyderabad, the interest continued since I used to observe film journalists and their discussions. Cinema has always been a constant interest.

'Ghani' is my debut movie and it was made during the pandemic. My previous short film experience helped me, so also the support extended by the producers (Allu Bobby and Sidhu Mudda). My journey with Varun Tej started with 'Mister'. The way we see scenes used to be in sync. That's how we got along well.

I would like to clarify that 'Ghani' is a commercial film first. The sports genre is a backdrop. Boxing was chosen as the sport because it lends more to the commerciality aspect. Any sports movie has a zero-to-hero template. 'Ghani' tells the journey of the protagonist. His hardships in personal life, not just in sports, are a highlight of the drama.

'Fighter' and 'Champion' were considered as the titles. I had a change of mind. I wanted a title that is based on the name of the protagonist.

I observed real-life boxers in writing 'Ghani'. I analyzed the hardships they faced, their interface with the sports ecosystem... Learning about them was like doing homework.

The boxing sequences were not easy to be shot. There would be 200 unit members and 600 extras on set. It was not easy to handle in the beginning. I challenged myself with the sports genre. I didn't want to do an offbeat movie. It took me 3 months to crack the formula for 'Ghani'.

Allu Aravind garu and Allu Arjun garu have watched the movie. They are happy with the output. On April 8, Telugu and Kannada versions will be released. The Tamil and Malayalam versions will release later.

I persisted with Upendra garu for six months. It was not easy to bring him on board. Even Nidhiya garu doesn't accept movies easily. They came on board because they liked the script.

Since Varun Tej has previously done love stories like 'Fidaa' and 'Toli Prema', it was not easy to write the love track for him in 'Ghani'. I wrote several versions. It's not easy to select the heroine for someone of his height. I chose Saiee Manjrekar because she is apt opposite him in every way.

The postponements were many. At one point, I asked producers if they would want to release the movie on OTT directly. They insisted that 'Ghani' is a theatrical experience.

Boxing is a distinctive sport that you can't show imaginatively on-screen that easily. The boxing portions are there for 20 minutes in the movie. A foreign stunt master was chosen. We worked on the action part for almost 2 months in the pre-production phase. For more than 2 months when the shoot was suspended during the second wave of the pandemic, Varun Tej worked hard to maintain his physique. He gave his all for the sake of the story.

The film's flashback is 15 minutes long. It delves into the psyche of sportspersons, their angst. The portions inherently convey something.

As a storyteller, I don't want to stick to a genre. The audience are open to various genres. The stature of Tollywood has gone up, and Telugu cinema is being talked about everywhere. I am scheduled to do movies for a couple of producers.

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