Cinematographer and first-time director Uday Gurla remembers spending his school holidays in his grandmother’s village, Kambabapalli, Mahbubabad Mandal, Telangana. “For me, he was the best holiday destination. I would sit by the lake or watch the Bathukamma ceremony and feel everything at home, which was to present in the village. When he decided to direct feature films, he asked Kambalpally The story is set to narrate. The Telugu film Mel, produced by Swapna and Priyanka Dutt and starring Priyadarshi, is the first of the Kambalpally stories. The Mel is said to premiere on January 12 on Aha, Kambalapalli Kathalu.
The film is set in Kambalapalli in the mid-2000s, when the village watched in awe on a personal computer. Priyadarshi, who knows one or two things about computers and the Internet, teaches the basics to a wide-eyed cheerful Malgireddy. But first, the computer needs to be handled with care and reverence. Uday revealed that some of the traits that shaped the character created by Priyadarshi were inspired by one of his lecturers.
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In 2014, Uday had a basic story for Mel. He discovered his interest in storytelling during his undergraduate studies in fine arts at Jawaharlal Nehru Technological University, Hyderabad: “I love photography and as an extension of it, cinematography. I very much enjoyed narrating blind stories. “
His Instagram account is a window into his visual narrative methods; He captures moments from everyday life, pausing to find beauty in common things.
He said it’s not surprising when he says that he likes to watch cinema that presents real-life inspired stories: “I think audiences connect easily with such stories,” he says.
Uday wanted to gain experience before directing a film. After graduation, he wrote and directed the short film Svecha and was the cinematographer for the short film Nishidei directed by KVR Mahendra. He also handled cinematography for the film 24 Chumban.
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He then finished the story of Mel and narrated it to Swapna Dutt of Vyjayanthi Movies. Preliminary auditions were held prior to the lockdown and the search for actors continued during the lockdown via video call. Uday had known Priyadarshi for some time and felt that the actor was a perfect fit for one of the leads. For smaller parts, people from the villages were chosen.
Mel was filmed in Kambabapalli and neighboring villages in the mid-2000s, with carefully selected locations in the mid-2000s. Uday and his childhood friend Shyam shared cinematography responsibilities. “We worked with a small crew, which was not easy, fearing COVID-19. We took prior permission and we all stayed in a village school, ”he says.
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Uday is also the cinematographer for the Telugu film Jallad, which is under construction. He has a story for Chapter 2 of Kambalapalli Kathalu, which he intends to make as a feature film in the near future. Before winding up, we talk about old computer monitors, CPUs and early 2000s speakers that appear in the film. How did he find them? “We were lucky, we found it through OLX. The monitor and speakers were all in good condition, ”says Uday