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Will You See This Movie? | Hit ‘Tollywood’ Director Debuts in America with Prenup Comedy

Will You See This Movie? | Hit 'Tollywood' Director Debuts in America with Prenup Comedy

Here’s your weekly dose of an indie film in progress; every Friday, we spotlight a bigger project, usually from an established filmmaker or affiliated with a bigger production company.

“Divorce Invitation”

Director: S.V. Krishna Reddy
Writers: S.V. Krishna Reddy, Bala Rajasekharuni and Robert Naturman
Producer: Venkat
Executive Producer: Ram Reddy Sure
Co-Producers: Reddy Srinivas, Bala Rajasekharuni
Cast: Jamie Lynn Sigler, Elliott Gould, Jonathan Bennett, Nadia Bjorlin, Lainie Kazan, Richard Kind, Ian Alda, Keith Robinson, Andrea Bowen.

For S.V. Krishna Reddy, making a Hollywood film has always been a dream. With a Hindi film co-writing credit and dozens of films in his native Telegu (in the prolific film industry nicknamed Tollywood, which is centered in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh), Reddy has an impressive filmmaking resume. He’s about to add his first American feature, “Divorce Invitation,” to that list.
Tollywood work, take a look at this birthday news report (in Telegu), which features clips from several of his films:

Now he’s living his dream, working on his first film in Los Angeles. In the middle of a day of production, Reddy spoke with indieWIRE. “The shooting’s going very well, everything’s very comfortable.”

“We’ve been working on the script for more than a year, and then worked finalizing the locations and preparing for production for a year. With my co-writers, we wrote a script we think would appeal to American audiences.”

To help Reddy deal with his cast and business in Los Angeles while he was still in India, Reddy’s producer and co-writer Bala Rajasekharuni (a professor at UC Riverside) dealt with business in California. The two knew each other from India (Rajasekharuni was a fan of Reddy’s work), and Rajasekharuni served as Reddy’s “insider” on all things American.

As Rajasekharuni described the film, he compared it to a classic Steve Martin relationship comedy. In the film, a man runs into his childhood sweetheart, who had dumped him earlier in life. He’s married to someone else at the time, but it quickly becomes apparent that she is interested in him now. He opts for a divorce, and everything seems to happening amicably, until his soon-to-be ex-wife brings up their prenup.  

For Rajasekharuni, the film is primarily about the themes of “entering into wedlock with all these morals and everything.  In this country, there’s a cycle of marriage and remarriage. We’re trying to comment on the divorce culture.”

If the cast is any indication, this film should have no problem providing an update to the Steve Martin standard: “We sent out the script and we got a great response. We’ve assembled a cast that really understands the emotional responses,” Rajasekharuni said.

As for Reddy, “I’m waiting for my future successes in Hollywood. I’m hoping this film will give me that boost.”

Is this a movie you’d want to see? Tell indieWIRE in the comments below.

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