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Video Editing


A Q&A with Sri Appalaraju, Director & Writer of The Ant - The Love - and The Girl in between!

The Ant - The Love - and The Girl in between!

(CHEEMA - PREMA - madhyalo BHAAMA!)


When one of the smartest living creatures of the universe, namely, an ant (చీమ) develops fascination for human life and determines to take birth as a human: Will it succeed? What can happen? How does it feel? Added on top, if that leads to love and romance, how does it relish? Answers to all these questions form the crux of an intense love journey of a couple in twenties that starts in the college back drop.


A Q&A with Sri Appalaraju

Tell us your film name, the category you won for, and where the idea for your film came from?

“The Ant - The Love - and The Girl in between!” is the name of the film in English ( of course, it’s ‘CHEEMA - PREMA - madhyalo BHAAMA!’ In the original Indian language ).

It’s the annual winner as the BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM for the year 2021 in addition to 16 other awards it has bagged so far all over the world !

What were the toughest aspects of creating this film? How did you overcome them?

Looks like this question is tougher. In other words, I’m more of a DOER than a TALKER. I really can’t think of any particular aspect to label it as the TOUGHEST. But you know in creating a feature film, targeting the finest possible experience for the audience, every craft involved seems important in its own way. Nothing less, nothing more:

(i) I got to admit that finding the BEST resources within a limited budget poses an additional challenge for the filmmaker. (ii) So also the graphics part took a lot more time than we initially planned for. (iii) Finally the theatrical release in a good number of theaters is hard as well !

What inspired you to enter into the world of filmmaking?

I’m always lured into the creative arts such as writing, music etc. They keep me afresh and alive. And I feel films are the best medium to reach a wider audience. In a nut shell, it’s the power and influence of arts that motivate me to move forward.

Do you have long-term goals for filmmaking? What are they?

Well, I can’t imagine anything that would happen overnight. It sure is a long way! I’d like to make films of memorable quality and substance. My first choice would be romantic dramas with a comedy tinge and high on emotions. No matter what, I’d pursue the path without a question!

Tell us a funny anecdote or a memorable moment from creating this film.

At one point, one of my team members came to me running and asked me why we should care so much about the lead pair in the movie ( since they are debut artistes and not really stars ). I told it’s not about their stardom but it’s their standing in the film that matters! It’s true they may not be stars in the filmy world but to us and our film they are the stars! And you know, the way we treat others is a reflection of what we are, not necessarily what they are!

Do you have any film-making influences or people you look up to?

Of course YES! Every movie that I have seen possibly adds to my knowledge base as far as dos and don’ts are concerned. If I have to mention one name to look up to and take as an inspiration, it would be the the great filmmaker, James Cameron!

But, you see the goal is to present something original. I mean, as original as possible! And that’s what really makes me feel good!

Do you have a favorite film project that you have done? Why?

I’ll remember my first film for now. It sure is a great feeling to see the vision as it transforms to a visual reality! First time experience is truly unbeatable!

What advice would you share with someone wanting to make their first movie?

Not sure, if I’ve reached a position or stage where I could advice. But I’d say, if you really want to do some thing, for that matter anything, BE FEARLESS and BE STRONG!

What are you going to do next?

What else, all ready for the next movie. One script; one movie at a time!

Where can we find more about you? Plug any social media links or info you'd like to share!

Here I am, reachable for any and all:


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