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Web Series: The new rage in Tollywood town

Web Series: The new rage in Tollywood town
Highlights

“As an actor, there may be occasions when you cannot do a particular script for various reasons such as image, market etc. In that sense, the digital medium is a huge boon to artistes for they can experiment with any kind of a role,” said Tollywood actor Sumanth Ashwin. The actor is very pleased with the success of the initial episodes of his web series ‘Endukila’ directed by Lakshman Karya.

“As an actor, there may be occasions when you cannot do a particular script for various reasons such as image, market etc. In that sense, the digital medium is a huge boon to artistes for they can experiment with any kind of a role,” said Tollywood actor Sumanth Ashwin. The actor is very pleased with the success of the initial episodes of his web series ‘Endukila’ directed by Lakshman Karya.

The concept of web series in Tollywood was kick started by ‘Muddapappu Avakai’ starring Neeharika Konidela, niece of mega star Chiranjeevi. The series went on to become a massive success and made Neeharika, a star well before her Tollywood debut. It also encouraged mainstream Tollywood actors and technicians to take to the web and reach out to the people directly.

Anand Ranga, director of the critically acclaimed film ‘Oy’ made his digital debut with the series titled ‘What if Superman lived in Hyderabad’ which met with decent success. Now, Sumanth Ashwin has given greater credibility to the concept with ‘Endukila’ as he is the first mainstream Tollywood actor to star in a full-fledged role in a series.

Following in his footsteps is Tejaswi Madiwada who is all set to become the first Tollywood actress to appear in a web series to be directed by Sashank. Paired with her is Tollywood actor Rahul Ravindran. And Sai Dharam Tej has also jumped on the bandwagon by becoming part of a series titled ‘Nenu Mee Kalyan’. Sai Dharam Tej plays himself in only a guest role in the series but his presence in the project is proof of the way actors feel about the new phenomenon.

With mainstream actors supporting the format, the onus is now on coming out with quality-rich content. “I never treated the project as a short film or a web series,” says Lakshman Karya, director of ‘Endukila’. “We shot for ‘Endukila’ like a proper film. We had mainstream actors, technicians and equipment. I was working as an assistant to Dev Katta and looking to make my debut as director. ‘Endukila’ happened because of Dev Katta who proposed me to the producers, YUPP TV.

They were very keen on quality and only wanted the best possible output replicating a cinematic experience.” Sumanth Ashwin agrees! “Nowhere do you get the feeling that you are watching anything less than a film,” he says and adds, “I actually disagree with the term ‘web series’. Web-series is something available only on you tube or similar platforms. This is a mini-series available on different mediums.” Was he not apprehensive about the result of ‘Endukila’ affecting his standing as an actor? “I was a bit,” he says honestly and adds, “But I really liked the script and even with a film, you need to take flak for your performance in the event of an adverse result.

Therefore, I was quite comfortable at the end of the day. A good output would further enhance my stature as an actor. Besides, as Bollywood actor Nawazzudin Siddique said, once you face the camera, there is only the actor in you. The medium does not matter. Cinema is the ultimate medium and will always be my first priority but I am open to good roles in any format,” he concludes.

By Sridhar Adivi

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