Deepthi Ganta first heard the time period Meet Cute within the 2006 Hollywood movie The Holiday, in a dialog between the characters performed by Kate Winslet and Eli Wallach. The reminiscence stayed. Years later, when she wrote a sequence of 5 feel-good, conversational quick tales on city romances, she thought it will be an apt title. She shared the screenplays together with her brother — actor-producer Nani — who inspired her to direct them. The journey culminated within the Telugu anthology Meet Cute marking her debut as writer-director, produced by Prashanti Tipirneni and introduced by Nani, and will stream on Sony Liv from November 25. 

In this free-flowing dialog at Nani’s workplace in Hyderabad, the siblings recall their love for cinema. “Nani was a unbelievable storyteller after we have been rising up. If I missed watching a movie, he would narrate it with such flourish that once I ultimately watch it, the precise movie might not match his narrative model,” Deepthi remembers. 

She watched each Telugu and Hindi movies whereas he queued up for the massy Telugu movies at Satyam theatre, Ameerpet. “Basically, she was good in teachers and beloved cinema; I used to be unhealthy in research and beloved cinema,” says Nani. At dwelling, they fought over tv content material and the remote bore the brunt. “Often the remote can be taped to be held collectively; we even knocked off the buttons on the TV set and had to function it utilizing pins.”

While he entered cinema as an assistant director (AD) and then grew to become an actor, she graduated in mechanical engineering, pursued a grasp’s in enterprise and engineering administration and took up a company job within the USA in 2005. 

Sathyaraj and Ruhani Sharma in the story ‘Old is Gold’ from the anthology ‘Meet Cute’

Sathyaraj and Ruhani Sharma within the story ‘Old is Gold’ from the anthology ‘Meet Cute’
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

Short movie

Deepthi, who has been a sounding board for Nani’s concepts, factors out the distinction between them, “When he narrates, you may visualise the scenes. I specific myself higher once I write. I might write once I wanted to course of my ideas; I might additionally write quick opinions of a few of Nani’s movies and he preferred studying them. Once once I got here dwelling on trip, he prompt I write a story about a lady baby. I wrote it and he mentioned it will make for a quick movie.” 

Deepthi was content material writing it, however was inspired by Nani to direct it. “I had to return to the US in 4 days and had no data of digicam angles or shot divisions. He supplied me with all of the manufacturing assist and requested me to give path a shot.” 

Nani chips in, “I spent a while on the units and noticed that she had a clear imaginative and prescient about how every scene ought to look on the display. She additionally had the flexibility to bond with the solid and the crew, making them rally round her like a household.”  

The quick movie Anaganaga Oka Nanna was launched on YouTube in 2019.

The expertise bolstered Deepthi’s curiosity in screenwriting. She regarded up on-line screenwriting instruments and learn among the scripts of Nani’s movies, for occasion Jersey.

Conversational dramas

The first story of Meet Cute titled Meet the Boy stemmed from her personal pelli choopulu expertise. “I fictionalised it a lot,” Deepthi is fast to add. A sucker for feel-good tales, she wrote a conversation-driven story. The pandemic had set in and she had begun to work from dwelling. She spent the hours after work and her weekends writing. “If I revisit a story after a couple of weeks and nonetheless prefer it, then I might share it with my husband and with Anju (Nani’s spouse Anjana Yelavarthy) and then with Nani.”

Nani’s curiosity was piqued when he learn the story Old is Gold (starring Sathyaraj and Ruhani Sharma), wherein two strangers ready for their respective visa appointments on the consulate find yourself discussing relationship points. “I advised her that I’ll produce an anthology provided that I like all of the tales.” 

Deepthi didn’t need each story to take the boy-meets-girl route. One story traces an unintended assembly between a mother-in-law and future daughter-in-law, one other centres on an actress assembly a younger man who isn’t star struck and doesn’t recognise her, and so on.

Shiva Kandukuri and Adah Sharma in the story ‘Star Struck’ in ‘Meet Cute’

Shiva Kandukuri and Adah Sharma within the story ‘Star Struck’ in ‘Meet Cute’
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

Reading the tales, Nani says he was curious to know what occurs subsequent to the characters. “Her screenwriting was extra skilled this time. I requested myself if such a script was submitted to my manufacturing home Wallposter Cinema by an aspiring author or director, would I take it up? The reply was sure.”

Even at this level, Deepthi had no plans to direct them. She was content material writing. Again, it was Nani who inspired her to direct. She took a six-month sabbatical from work and got here to India in 2021 to direct Meet Cute. She met the technical group and designed every story to happen in a specific season, with a corresponding color palette.

The ‘Meet Cute’ group
The anthology stars Sathyaraj, Rohini Molleti, Adah Sharma, Varsha Bollamma, Akanksha Singh, Ruhani Sharma, Sunaina, Sanchita Poonacha, Ashwin Kumar, Shiva Kandukuri, Deekshit Shetty, Govind Padmasoorya and Raja Chembolu. The crew consists of cinematographer Vasanth Kumar, music composer Vijay Bulganin, editor Garry BH and manufacturing designer Avinash Kolla.

This time, she was extra assured on the units. Nani reckons, “I used to be proud once I noticed the ultimate product. I’ve been appearing for 14 years and have had my share of appreciation. It feels good when my akka, an outsider to the business, springs a nice shock.”

A standard gripe with anthologies on digital platforms has been that one or two episodes stand out, whereas others pale. Nani and Deepthi are hopeful that they’ve averted that state of affairs: “All 5 tales have a comparable vibe since it’s helmed by the identical director and the crew. We confirmed the movie to totally different units of individuals and requested them for their forthright opinions. They picked totally different favourites however mentioned there was no story they didn’t like.”

(Meet Cute will stream on Sony Liv from November 25)

. .