This summer, we will be treated to two films with many similarities. Vimanam (Aeroplane) and Prema Vimanam (Love Aeroplane) are aspirational stories revolving around children. The theme is more or less the same.
Veerayya (Samuthirakani) is a differently-abled single parent. He lives with his son Raju in a slum. Raju wants to board an aeroplane and watch the world from the sky. Will the father be able to fulfil his wish? This forms the crux of Vimanam.
Director Siva Prasad Yanala roped in Tamil actor Samuthirkani for Veerayya’s role because he didn’t want any familiar faces.
“I live in Balanagar which is close to the airport. A kid living in the nearby slum rushes out to listen to the sound of the aeroplane every day and looks up at the sky. Even my 3-year-old boy would be inquisitive and ask me when he would fly. I would tell him it would happen if he finishes his dinner,” Siva Prasad recalled.
The story has the conversations he had with his son in this regard.
Vimanam was shot near Saroornagar and in a slum street set erected at a cost of ₹15 lakh near BHEL, Hyderabad.
Dhruva plays Raju; he played Junior Allu Arjun in Pushpa. Anasuya Bharadwaj, Ramakrishna, and Dhanraj are playing key roles.
Chinni Charan scored the music. The film is jointly produced by Zee Studios and Kiran Korrapati Creative Works. It will hit the theatres on 9 June.
Landing in your nearest theatres on June 9th🎥@thondankani @SivaPYanala @CharanArjunwave @iamMangli #VaikomVijayalakshmi #Snehan @adityamusic @AdityaTamil_ @anusuyakhasba #Meerajasmine @eyrahul pic.twitter.com/pulmGG7M2p
— Aditya Music (@adityamusic) May 3, 2023
Prema Vimanam, a web film, will be streamed on Zee 5. It is directed by debutant Santosh Kata.
Anasuya Bharadwaj plays a mother of two boys — Devansh Nama (9 years old) and Anirudh Nama (6 years old). The kids are sons of producer Abhishek Nama and are being launched as lead actors.
The boys want to travel by an aeroplane. And then, the love track between Sangeeth Shoban (who runs a grocery store) and Sanvee Meghana (daughter of a village head) runs parallelly in the flick.
The stories connect at a point. Prema Vimanam is a two-hour-twenty-five-minute commercial film.
Vennela Kishore plays an important character.
Cinematographer Jagadesh Cheekati of Chor Bazaar fame is the cinematographer. Anup Rubens is the music director. The film has been shot in thandas (hamlets).
‘Don’t know my date of birth’
Santosh Kata asserts that the story of Prema Vimanam is different from that of Vimanam, though the two movies have a common factor — boarding an aeroplane.
The director hails from Zaheerabad in Telangana. He made a short film titled Chiru Deepam (2011) based on HIV/AIDS awareness.
He revealed that his parents did not record his date of birth and he had no bank account until recently. “So, I plan to use the release day of Prema Vimanam as the date of my birth.”
Santosh Kata recently opened a bank account so he could deposit his remuneration.
When he narrated the Telangana-based subject to producer Abhishek Nama, the latter immediately signed a cheque in Santosh’s name and there was no looking back.
“I will board an aeroplane soon and that would finish my bucket list,” he sounded excited.
Pawan Kalyan-starrer Kushi (Happiness, 2001) inspired Santosh Kata to pursue a career in the film industry. He struggled for around 12 years to become a director. “My friends say that I am lucky to be here and follow my dreams. They find their jobs mechanical.”
Presenting the teaser of #PremaVimanam! Wishing the team all the very best! ♥️https://t.co/PKys0pqm6m@AbhishekPicture @saanvemegghana@santoshkata @dopjagadeeshch @anusuyakhasba @vennelakishore @anuprubens @vasupotini @mohitrawlyani @ZEE5Telugu
— Mahesh Babu (@urstrulyMahesh) April 27, 2023
About Devansh and Anirudh
Prema Vimanam’s story is set in the 1990s and it was a dream then to travel in a plane. “My father’s salary was meagre and flying was just impossible. I never boarded a plane. My niece, too, wanted to fly,” Santosh recalled.
So, how did Devansh and Anirudh perform?
“Their father never took them to shootings. They just gave their audition and headed straight to the shoot. Though the kids are used to comfort, they worked hard in the heat. They are smart,” he said.
Initially, the kids took time to understand the language of filmmaking. But they would perform in a jiffy.
“Dealing with kids is tough and we need patience. When we were on a 15-day schedule, their mother came along but sat far away and observed. She let them be,” Santosh Kata recollected.
The filmmaker also recalled how the boys would ask questions like why they were shooting the climax scene first and not following a chronological order, as per the story.
“They wondered why I always ask for one more take/shot when I already said ‘Well done’. I would show them where an improvement was needed. When you want something badly, the universe conspires in helping you achieve it. In my case, it came true,” Santosh Kata signed off.