chat Everything will be fresh and new in ‘Patasala’ right from the road film genre to the cast of newcomers, says director Mahi

Many NRIs have given up their plum jobs to follow their passion for filmmaking in India and most of them have been successful. Producer Mahi is also one among them. He worked as an assistant director for Vinayakudu , wrote the entire script, screenplay for Village Lo Vinayakudu ( in English) and also turned producer with Village Lo Vinayakudu and Kudurthe Cup Coffee. Now, he is set to make his debut as a director with Patasala .

Mahi says he was never excited about being a producer, that happened accidentally; but direction is where his forte lies. “Our education system deals with a different kind of learning but Patasala doesn’t mean simply a school, it is a sacred place of learning. This one is a coming-of-age story, a road film. It is the last day of college and the 21-year-old friends begin their journey to each other’s home town. They are at the crossroads of life and their journey changes in this course. It’s a dramedy (comedy drama) and will be told humoously. Patasala will not be preachy.”

The director says that the five friends who set out on a journey on the last day of college, have their own conflicts. The journey would have taken a different turn, if there had been no conflicts. What happens on the road has a few sub-plots holding the whole film and driving the change in them. That situation will show how they confront their fears and overcome their conflicts.

How similar is it with other campus stories? “There is no point in making a film that has been done. We don’t have a road film genre in Telugu. Also for any debutant, the fun is to come up with your own plot. During the summer holidays, we would go to each other’s home town. We might go to a college for four years and know each other superficially but when we each go to the home town we see their family and the friend in an entirely different perspective; it’s a different discovery of friends.”

The casting will begin from August 15 onwards and the shooting from November 21. Mahi observes that the audience has a tolerance level when it comes to new faces. “We still follow the conventional method of casting someone fresh for the well-etched roles. We may not get a great cast, but the audience will have no problem with them. We tied up with a couple of companies for the talent hunt. Our target audience is the youth. It has no resemblance to Life Is Beautiful which is set in a colony; this is closer to Dil Chahta Hai .”

y. s. c.

Patasala doesn’t mean simply a school, it is a sacred place of learning.