Revanth Korukonda, like many aspiring filmmakers, grew up inspired by classics like Swarna Kamalam and Shankarabharanam. It would be a tall ask to make a feature film that touches upon classical arts in a time when a film’s success depends on its star cast and opening weekend collections. But there is always space to experiment through a short film. He wrote the script of Natyam, at the centre of which is a young woman caught in the humdrum of married life and trying to rediscover her passion for dance.
The 40-minute film, which will be released on YouTube in early February, stars Kuchipudi dancer Sandhya Raju as the protagonist Kalyani. The central character here has everything that she could ask for — a father who acts as a guiding force, a husband willing to support and a life in a comfortable home. There’s something amiss though. Her passion for dance has been knocked off the list of her priorities as she plays multiple roles in the family. Natyam shows her return to stage.
The team unveiled a sneak preview of the film in the presence of Kuchipudi danseuse Alekhya Punjala who plays a dance teacher in the film, playback singer Sunita who lent her voice to Sandhya, and Sandhya’s friends Pinky Reddy and Shilpa Reddy, at Kirtilals. The jewellery store sponsored the making of the film.
Once the script was ready, Revanth was on the look out for an actress and came across a dance video of Sandhya on YouTube. “I was impressed by how she could express a soft, peaceful emotion one moment and then turn fiery in her ‘Durga Thandavam’. I knew she would be apt to play Kalyani,” says Revanth.
Sandhya looked at the film as another window that would give her scope to dance. “Revanth put me through workshops and taught me the intricacies of acting. I thought I knew to dance and that would be enough to take me through the role. I got to learn a new craft,” says Sandhya.
Sunita came aboard impressed by the film’s theme. “The film makes its point subtly. You don’t need to lead a revolution to talk about women empowerment,” she says.
Natyam has music by Naresh Kumaran and is in its final stages of postproduction.