Veteran producer and Guinness record holder Daggubati Ramanaidu, 74, who has been chosen for the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for 2009, is humility personified. Expressing his happiness about winning the award nearly two decades after another thespian Akkinneni Nageswara Rao got it, he talks about making films his way tailoring them to today's conditions in the film industry. Mr. Ramanaidu, who was overseeing the shooting of his latest film at the picturesque Araku near here, motored down to the Visakhapatnam airport to leave for Hyderabad. on Thursday evening. A stream of calls continued congratulating him on being selected for the award.
Mr. Ramanaidu, who produced 134 films in several languages, was humility personified. He was looking forward to beginning the shooting of a Punjabi film at his studios here, creating yet another record of making films in 13 languages. He also wanted to take up a message-oriented film on non-commercial basis.
He was the producer of Premnagar, considered his magnum opus with Nageswara Rao in the lead role. “It was a difficult situation and if the film flopped I had decided to take up agriculture again at Kelambakkam in the then Madras,” he recalled. The film went on to become a big hit.
Known as a ‘Movie Mogul' in the industry, Mr. Ramanaidu said his 47-year-old career had had its share of failures and success. “Don't mix the business of filmmaking with personal pleasure,” he cautioned producers.
He still has the ambition to make another film like Premnagar. “But finding a hero and heroine is difficult.”
Ramanaidu also talked about fully completing the work on his studio here. Shooting of Oriya and Bengali films was going on now. Several charitable activities were being taken up through his trust.