Time has again come where a decision is made to watch a film or not based on the director's name. Long gone are the days where people flocking theatres just based on a filmmakers’ name. Except for a few like Rajamouli or Sukumar, every film is sold in the name of the lead actor (who is typically some star). Trivikram is an exception to an extent.
But now we're witnessing a generation of directors who are capable of selling movies with just their names. We have seen Sandeep Reddy Vanga. And then there's Venkatesh Maha. And a few others. All in all, 2020 is not always about stars but talented new faces. We have seen directors like Trivikram and Anil Ravipudi hitting big numbers, but once the pandemic has taken over and the age of OTT started, small films and innovative filmmakers like Vinod Anantoju proved their creds.
Here we have handpicked 6 finalists for Tollywood's best director for 2020 and see who will win.
1. Trivikram Srinivas -Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo
Director Srinivas is back? Certainly not. He just used all his gimmicks and just about got pass marks. But once again, it's writer Trivikram who pushed Srinivas to success. And what a success it was! For the first time in Telugu Cinema, a non pan-India movie collected a share of Rs. 150 Cr. It fell just short of Rs. 250 Cr. gross milestone. A perfect festive commercial family entertainer. Nothing more than that.
2. Anil Ravipudi - Sarileru Neekevvaru
The man of Midas touch did what he's good at once again. Just deliver the biggest commercial hit for the actor he directs. Apart from that he brought out the hidden mass angle from Mahesh after a long time in this neatly packaged entertainer. He had stuck to his guns and amplified the effect thanks to the superstar's star power.
3. Sailesh Kolanu - HIT
A Scandinavian thriller level story. A similarly enigmatic protagonist with all flaws. A police procedural that's almost real life. It's nearly impossible for even great filmmakers. That a young filmmaker did pull this toughest genre well and made the movie a commercial hit speaks volumes about his craft. A lot can be expected of Sailesh Kolanu.
4. Venkatesh Maha - Uma Maheshwara Ugra Roopasya
If C/o Kancharapalem doesn't convince you Venkatesh Maha is a force to reckon with, Uma Maheshwara Ugra Roopasya will do the job. Adopting a well liked and well nativised Mollywood script for Telugu is the toughest job. He not just delivered a memorable blockbuster for Netflix but also gifted Tollywood a brilliant acting talent in the form of Roopa Koduvayur.
5. Vinod Anantoju - Middle Class Melodies
One more Tollywood answer to the onslaught of realistic and small town based filmmaking of Mollywood, Vinod Anantoju won the laurels from one and all for his craft. Even from those who didn't appreciate his film, commended him for bringing the best out of his actors and convincingly narrating a small point.
6. Sandeep Raj - Colour Photo
Sandeep Raj made the deepest impression not just with dialogues or images on the screen. He simply injected what he set out to show on-screen into the hearts of the audience. Colour Photo will remain a gold standard for a classic in Telugu Cinema that's also capable of becoming a blockbuster. He has a long way to go. But has all the signs to become great.
After going through the list multiple times, and watching the movies they have made, and considering the merits in all possible ways, we find that it is the youngsters who shine the brightest. Considering all factors
We announce Sailesh Kolanu (for having complete command on what he was doing) and Sandeep Raj as the Best Directors of 2020 in Telugu.