Dr. Sailesh Kolanu’s latest film is the Hindi remake of his Telugu film, HIT: The First Case. It stars RajKummar Rao and Sanya Malhotra and is doing well at the box office. Speaking exclusively to The Free Press Journal, Dr. Sailesh tells us that he is neither an insider nor an outsider. In fact, he is on the other side of the spectrum.
Dr. Sailesh has a firm belief that he is not in favour of favouring anyone. “I am on the other end of the spectrum because we come from a very modest background. We lived in slums in Kodambakkam in Chennai. I was living in that slum. My house was the last pakka house. My father was just earning Rs 800 per month. I come from that background. Compared to everybody I hang out with now, I come from a very modest background,” he reveals.
Opening up about his latest release and why he didn’t shoot it in Marathi, he explains, “There was an overlap shooting the second part HIT in Telugu. But I was not shuttling between two projects. There was just a 10 days overlap during the entire shooting process. I didn’t do it in Marathi because I don’t have the knowledge in Marathi. First of all, I can’t speak Marathi. If you can’t speak a language, then you shouldn’t make a film in that language. As a director, communication is the way we work on the sets. If I have to make a Marathi movie, then I will learn the language and thereafter make it in Marathi. I can speak Tamil, Telugu, English and Hindi. Yes, my Hindi is good because I had a lot of Mumbai and Gujarati friends while doing my undergraduate graduation, so they taught it to me. But still, my Hindi has a Hyderabadi touch.”
Talking about his family background, Dr. Sailesh shares, “My mother was a Telugu Pundit lecturer. She gave up her profession after I was born as she wished to nurture me well while I was growing up. My father, Seshagiri Rao Kolanu, worked as a production manager for Pratap Art Productions and then with director Kodi Rama Krishna. Then he joined Prasad films laboratory as an outdoor unit manager. He used to supply equipment to various production houses. My core filmmaking knowledge comes from there. I inherited academics from my mother and filmmaking from my father. I feel a man or woman’s intelligence depends on their bringing up. My father is retired. Post-retirement, he works as Dil Raju sir’s office manager. On a consultant basis, does accounts and paperwork for him. Dil Raju sir is like our family.”
He concludes, “My dad never wanted me to be a filmmaker. When I told him I wanted to come back to India and direct a film, he said, ‘If you take a flight, I will hit you’. I was earning a six-figure salary. Why should I leave that and join films? He sent me miles away from here because he knows the troubles of this industry. For me to go in pursuit of making a film, I cracked my contacts. I met Nani without telling him anything. When I got the offer, Dil Raju sir came and told me, ‘Let’s make a film’.”