chat Director R.P. Patnaik is making an English film that finds common ground between the Amish and Indian cultures

Directors are going that extra mile to get noticed within the Telugu film industry. Auteur R.P. Patnaik has made an English film completely shot in America, which is due to release in early 2013. Though S.V. Krishna Reddy has also done the same, it appears that Patnaik’s film will be releasing first.

A supernatural thriller titled Amy, the film is about a young Amish girl named Amy who can see possessed souls. Christopher Atkins plays the exorcist and Jessica Digiovanni, Kurt Peterson and Jane Doherty are in lead roles. R.P. Patnaik shot the film in the US within two months, and was assisted by cinematographer Andrew Sadtler and associate screenplay writer Febah Dawson. Patnaik says the post-production work and CG were time consuming. “It is a marketable genre and has a universal subject set against the backdrop of the Amish community. Not many films were made around them. The Amish are known for their religious austerity, some even consider them conservative Protestants who started as a reform group within the Mennonite movement. They separated because of what the Amish perceived as a lack of discipline among Mennonites.”

Patnaik says though it was impossible to shoot in the locations where the Amish lived, he managed to pick Hollywood actors and shoot in prime places like Ohio, Pennsylvania and Indiana. “They are non-conformists and like to live in isolation and do not prefer to have connections with the world. They do not even use motorised water, they construct their own homes and do not participate in war, do prayers in homes on rotation basis and not in churches. The men don’t sport a moustache but have a beard and women are dressed in gowns, completely covered and wear hats; their faith, belief and practices are distinct from other American cultures. They also believe that Baptism should be done only during adulthood, not earlier,” he explains.

What made him make a movie on the Amish people? He reveals, “Their sentiments and lifestyle have many similarities with those of Indians — the joint family system, the ploughing of fields, trusting God, et al. I went there, studied their people and culture. The Amish basically believe they are close to God. The story is about the war between a positive energy and a negative energy.” Patnaik adds, “I will get the film dubbed in Telugu too.” The producers are Prasad Kunisetty, Ramesh Nuti and it is presented by TP Entertainment. “Some call it a horror film but I guess it should be termed a supernatural film as the element of horror is a bit less,” says Patnaik.

y. sunita chowdhary

It’s about the war between a positive energy and a negative energy