Teja Kakumanu is all set to make his debut as a director with the Telugu web series Save The Tigers. You are mistaken if you think that it is a documentary on wild cats.
Well, tigers here are husbands and the story of Save The Tigers revolves around the lives of three men. Well, the title declares that the species are on the verge of extinction and we have to save them.
In an exclusive chat with South First, actor-director Teja Kakumanu expressed confidence that the audience would love this “buddy comedy”.
He is a Master’s in Performing Arts from Telugu University and also trains budding actors through workshops.
“I ventured into films in 2013. I attended a workshop around that time where I met filmmaker Pradeep Reddy who bagged the National Award for his first Telugu short film Advaitham. Pradeep suggested that I should get into films,” he recollected.
Teja took Pradeep’s advice seriously and joined the direction department. In no time, he fell in love with his work. Simultaneously, he took up small roles in movies.
They two became close friends after their first encounter.
The story behind Save The Tigers
So, how did the idea of Save The Tigers germinate?
“When my daughter was born, my wife was invited to a Mother’s Day event. While she couldn’t turn up, I went there and played games with other moms and kids. When I shared the videos with Pradeep, he came up with a story,” Teja explained.
The story is about how to deal with the consequences if a man is seen dancing with other women and is harassed by his wife.
“That’s how Save The Tigers came into being. I assure you that it is far more interesting than the basic point. It will have a bigger reach and is being dubbed in seven languages,” he shared.
The web series features Chaitanya Krishna, Abhinav Gomatam, Priyadarshi Pulikonda, and Harsha Vardhan in key roles. It is written by Pradeep Advaitham and produced by Mahi V Raghav.
Since Pradeep was busy with his project for the Vyjayanthi Movies banner, Teja Kakumanu has been entrusted with the job of helming the web series.
The actor-director was last seen in Shoot Out At Alair (2020) crime drama web series as the lead. He also played an important role in Pawan Kalyan and Rana Daggubati’s Bheemla Nayak (2022).
He will be seen next in Mahesh Babu-Trivikram’s upcoming movie and director Vikram K Kumar’s supernatural horror thriller Dhootha.
Public petition to #SaveTheTigers.
P.S. Watch at your own risk ⚠
Coming soon only on #DisneyPlusHotstar.@priyadarshi_i @AbhinavGomatam @99_chaitu @jordarsujatha @pavaniogili@tejakakumanu @mahivraghav @PradeepAdvaitam @vishutheone@arasadaajay @VenuYeldandi9 pic.twitter.com/Wdku7yuAlE
— Disney+ Hotstar Telugu (@DisneyPlusHSTel) April 1, 2023
It’s all about different perspectives
Save The Tigers web series has six episodes each in two seasons.
“We aren’t showing women in a bad light here. We only tried showing their point of view and hope that it results in a healthy debate. Every person will identify themselves in at least one of these roles. The women in our web series are strong and independent; the husbands are henpecked and harassed,” he quipped.
Teja Kakumanu also spoke about how small things often lead to big arguments in a marital relationship.
“My wife texts me 20 lines on WhatsApp and I just reply ‘Okay’. She gets bugged and an argument begins on the paucity of words used as a reply,” he cited an example.
“Women expect men to call them when they are out. It gives them a feeling of being cared for. But the man’s point of view is different. They know they will be fine and want to give them space and expect the same from them,” the actor-director elucidated.
“Arguments drain energy and time. They don’t want to be called once they step out. We have pooled the experiences of all and sundry,” he added.
So, which “tiger” is on the verge of extinction in the web series? Well, all the lives of the tigers are running on parallel lines.
The entire shoot of Save The Tigers took place in Hyderabad and the project went on smoothly. It will be streamed on Disney+ Hotstar on 27 April.