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Producer Sunitha Tati on Saakini Daakini, remaking six Korean films, and more

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'Saakini Daakini', the female-centric thriller-comedy, is an adaptation of a Korean film titled 'Midnight Runners'. Directed by Sudheer Varma, the film is produced by Suresh Productions, Guru Films and Kross Pictures Film. Starring Regina Cassandra and Nivetha Thomas, its plot revolves around a women's egg-harvesting racket. Ahead of its theatrical release on September 16, producer Sunitha Tati, who has produced movies like 'Oh Baby' in the past, talks about the Friday release at length. "I am very confident that the film is going to be a phenomenal success at the box office," she says. The producer also throws light on her upcoming projects, six of which are remakes of Korean movies.

 Excerpts:

'Saakini Daakini' is my 7th film as a producer. We had some male actors in mind and pitched the film to them. But the balance didn't work out. We had a certain age group in mind. And mobilizing two heroes from that age was not easy. Since the project was not getting locked despite our efforts, we changed the idea and turned male characters into female characters. Moreover, the central crime has to do with female egg harvesting. We felt it would be apt if female police trainees fight the evil gang.

Like in the Korean original 'Midnight Runners', the protagonists in the Telugu film, too, chase a crime over a span of a night for the major part of the story. But the story also takes place on 3-4 consecutive days. The crime angle is fresh. Issues like the female fertility rate make the plot more interesting.

We have retained elements like OCD and foodie characters from the Korean original, which was centered on bromance. There is not much difference between how women and men behave. It's not like there are no foodies among women. As for the fights, they follow a technique. Regina has got an athletic personality. After she was locked, we took two months to zero in on Nivetha. Once the latter came on board, we were convinced that they would gel well.

The dialogues mouthed by Nivetha resemble the lines you would expect from a male lead. Parents with girl children will like to watch our movie with their kids. You will feel very happy with how the women have been depicted in the movie.

The police trainees played by the Regina-Nivetha duo implement the lessons in fighting the villains. You will feel proud about how the police academy has been shown. The hard work put in by cops has been appreciated.

Director Sudheer Varma is very talented. I had been wanting to work with him since 'Swamy Ra Ra'. He is adept at excellent visualization, and has delivered superb output within the planned schedule. His treatment is stylish. He is going to participate in promotions from September 15. He has been busy shooting for his film with Ravi Teja.

After 'Oh Baby', Samantha Ruth Prabhu asked me if I realize how difficult it is to make another female-centric film. It takes a lot to execute, promote, etc. It takes a lot of energy to keep up the momentum. We have got an amazing response to the teaser and trailer of 'Saakini Daakini'. We are releasing the movie at the right time. After this release window, there is no suitable release time for our movie, since big movies (like 'Godfather') are going to come out after September. There is enough space for a movie like this one. A heroine-centric movie can't be pitted against a male superstar movie.

Both Regina and Nivetha have got equal parts in the movie. You are going to see them in an equal number of frames.

'Dongalunnaru Jagratha' with Sri Simha Koduri is our next release. It revolves around the psyche and doings of a thief. It is completely different from 'Saakini Daakini'.

On OTT versus theatrical experience: Theatrical viewing is a collective experience. If others are laughing, we tend to enjoy ourselves more with them. OTT is a personal experience. We tend to fast-forward, etc. Theatrical viewing stays in our minds for long. OTT viewing remains in your memory for a short while.

Not many know that many Korean films are freemakes of Indian movies! India produces the highest number of films year after year. A lot of countries have freemade our movies. Even the Japanese have done that.

We are going to remake six Korean films. We are doing a film in both Hindi and down South. There is another interesting film, which is an investigative thriller. It's a hero-centric film. I am making an English-language film with Samantha. 'Arrangements Of Love' is its title. It will go on the floors next year. It is directed by a foreigner. We are yet to decide whether it will be made in just English or English and an Indian language. There are three more films, one of which is a heroine-centric one. This pipeline is going to keep us engaged for the next year.

I want to direct a light-hearted rom-com. I am a fan of Bapu. I also love fantasies. I will direct films belonging to these genres in the future.

Updated on September 14, 2022