In a quite alley in bustling Film Nagar, there stands an elegantly decorated and aesthetically built bungalow offered to film shoots besides housing its owner, doctor-turned-actor Madala Ravi. When first time director Ambati Gopi said that he is filming a pivotal scene there, it was not difficult for us to locate the popular house.

Once inside the spacious drawing room, we spotted the film’s hero Mahendra, heroine Amitha Rao, popular character actor Nagineedu and the upcoming actor ‘Prabhas’ Srinivas. In the movie, the house is shown as Nagineedu’s residence. He plays the heroine’s father As Nagineedu spoke, the others listened in rapt attention. Of course, the hero sported a mischievous smile while the heroine’s face radiated with happiness. But both of them tried to conceal their joy as the camera helmed by Raghava Nuveti focused on them.

“It is one of the many interesting episodes from the movie. In an earlier scene, we shot a scene where Nagineedu receives a call from a youngster who says that he is in love with his daughter and challenges him to stop him from taking his daughter with him in the next 24 hours. And in this scene, a visibly disturbed Nagineedu invites the hero Mahendra to his house. Not knowing that he is the caller, requests him to take his daughter with him and shelter her for 24 hours under his care. Even Mahendra is surprised to see the girl as he does not know that she is Nagineedu’s daughter,” revealed the debut director. Gopi is a popular writer of such films as Little Soldiers’ (that won four Nandi awards), Jagapathi’ and the humour track in the Venkatesh-starrer, Sankranthi’ besides other films.

A child star of yesteryears, Mahendra is also graduating as a hero. As a child actor, he had acted in Little Soldiers, Pelli Chesukundam, Adavilo Anna, Pedarayudu and Simhadri. “He is a bundle of talent and won a Nandi award for Little Soldiers’ for which I penned the story and dialogue. It is only befitting that this teenager is making his debut with a love story penned by me,” guffaws Gopi. The heroine, Amitha Rao is from Bangalore. Hema plays Nagineedu’s sister while Annapurna is cast as the heroine’s granny. Jayaprakash Reddy takes up the role of a college lecturer.

“The locations include Vizag, Araku Valley and Korada where we shot the college scenes. The story harps on true love and the basic idea is to define what love is. Besides being an entertainer, the movie leaves a subtle message too. Jeevan Thomas has come up with six lilting tunes in tune with present day youth’s tastes. We plan to release the audio by the end of March,” said Ambati Gopi before moving to his actors to brief them about the next block in the scene.

The movie produced by Mangilipalli Sathyanarayana and Mangilipalli Nagaraju, is slated for release in April.

FIRST LOVE

Cast: Mahendra, Amitha Rao

Story, Screenplay, Dialogue, Direction: Ambati Gopi

Music: Jeevan Thomas