Dil Raju is one of the most famous producers of Telugu Cinema and he is currently regarded as most successful too. He has grown into brand himself and Dil Raju is regarded as the perfect judge of a script or story, looking at his success story. Similarly, star director Hari Shankar has evolved a unique style on the feature film front in the past many years. He has now been making creative attempts to encourage new, untapped talents. As part of the endeavor, he joined hands with the streaming giant ZEE5 and his great friend, producer Dil Raju.
Dil Raju and Harish Shankar have produced a web series titled ‘ATM’ for ZEE5 with Bigg Boss Telugu fame VJ Sunny in the lead. Krishna, Raviraj, Roiel Shree and Divi are also playing lead roles in it. Ahead of the show’s streaming on ZEE5 from January 20, its pre-release event was held in Hyderabad on Wednesday. Dil Raju, Harish Shankar and cast have attended the event.
Harish Shankar said that OTT is the right platform to tell certain kinds of stories. He said that’s what made him approach ZEE5. After the project was started, he developed the story of ‘ATM’ further. “I chose Chandra Mohan to direct it because I felt he is much better suited for the job. And he has done a better job than I would have. He portrayed the comic timing so well. We in the film industry take 100 working days to shoot 2 hours 30 minutes of content. ‘ATM’ took just 50 working days to be made and its running time is 4 hours 30 minutes. That’s the team’s biggest success. I thank the producers and all the artists. I thank ZEE5 for supporting our vision of making pure content on OTT,” Harish Shankar added.
Dil Raju thanked ZEE5 for providing the platform. He added that he was at first skeptical when Harish Shankar pitched the idea of making a web series. “I have been a distributor for more than 25 years and a producer for more than 20 years. I listened to the story of ‘ATM’ before making a decision. I am glad to introduce Harshit and Hanshitha as producers of OTT space. The trailer of ‘ATM’ makes me feel this is like a film’s trailer. The director has handled it so well. I want to introduce new talents through Dil Raju Productions. The series will build tension and yet the audience are going to like it,” he added.
Director Chandra Mohan said that Dil Raju didn’t listen to the story of the web series in one go. He would listen to the narration one episode at a time every morning. The director thanked the producers and also actor Subbaraju, among others. Prudhvi, Shafi, Sunny, Krishna and Ravi also came in for mention. “I thank the entire team of artists and technicians for the excellent output,” the director added.
Director Krish Jagarlamudi congratulated Dil Raju Productions and producers Harshit and Hanshitha. He also wished the writer and showrunner Harish Shankar. “Stories that can’t be told through cinema can be told on OTT. Chandra Mohan has done a great job. The trailer shows that ‘ATM’ is going to be gripping. I also look forward to the technical elements and the performances of the lead cast. New content must be brought out by production houses more and more,” Krish added.
VJ Sunny said that ‘ATM’ is going to be an unforgettable journey in his life. He added that Dil Raju Productions offered him the web series when he was waiting for a good offer. “When the offer came my way, I was shocked. I will be ever ready to work under Dil Raju Productions,” Sunny said, also praising his co-stars like Subbaraju and others. He described Subbaraju as a composed actor. He described the director as an able captain.
After thanking Dil Raju and the producers of the show, Subbaraju went on to say that director Chandra Mohan has done an amazing job. “The young actors reminded me of my early days. I am waiting to see what kind of response I am going to receive,” he added.
Producer Harshit Reddy said that ‘ATM’ started because of Harish Shankar’s idea. “The actors were selected on the basis of an audition. Sunny, Roiel, Krishna and Ravi are fine actors. Divi, Prudhvi, and Shafi have done very well. Without Subbaraju garu, ‘ATM’ wouldn’t have come out this well. I thank the action masters on this occasion,” the producer said, also thanking Dil Raju for the encouragement.
Producer Hanshitha said that she believes ‘ATM’ is going to be a game-changer. She called the show an amalgam of her father’s mind and Harish Shankar’s guts. “They have a thorough understanding of each other. I also thank ZEE5 on this occasion. Every actor in ‘ATM’ is going to be seen in a new light. We have seen Subbaraju garu in some way since ‘Arya’. His style is different in ‘ATM’,” she said, adding that the rest of the actors as well as the core technical team have done a great job.
Hanu Raghavapudi said that all good web series in Telugu has been brought out by ZEE5. He added that the trailer of ‘ATM’ makes him feel the show is very new. He attributed the ease with which the actors have done their job to the talent of director Chandra Mohan.
Actor Roiel Shree thanked the major actors and technicians associated with the show.
Creative Producer KRK said that it’s a big thing that major players in Tollywood have come together to make a web series. “New talents are going to come out because of the series,” he added.
Producer Sharath Chandra said that OTT is an avenue to make good experiments. “The credit for ‘ATM’ goes to director Chandra Mohan. It’s gladdening that Dil Raju garu and Harish Shankar garu are encouraging new content on OTT. With the path shown by Dil Raju garu, Hanshitha garu and Harshit garu, I hope many more are going to come this way,” he added.
Actor Ravi Raj and music director Prashanth R Vihari thanked the major players associated with the show. They expressed confidence that ‘ATM’ will be a big hit.
Dil Raju Productions CEO Meher Kilaru said that Dil Raju, Harish Shankar, Hanshitha and Harshit are the bosses of the series. Despite their being busy with films, they gave their 100% to the show, he added. “There is a lot to learn from Hanshitha and Harshit. They respect the audience a great deal,” he added.
Divi said that playing a lead role under Dil Raju Productions after a film like ‘Maharshi’ feels great. She added that director Chandra Mohan keeps every actor in a comfort zone.
Actor Krishna said that this character comes with songs in the show. He thanked Harish Shankar for penning a nice role for him. He also credited the show’s achievements to director Chandra Mohan.
Shafi said that he has played an amazing character in the series. He also said that Subbaraju, Sunny and Divi have played superb characters as well. Shafi praised the technical team. “Subbaraju’s Hegde is on a different level compared to his roles so far in movies. My role has been given a philosophical touch by the director,” Shafi added.
Divya Vani said that her character in ‘ATM’ is completely different from what she has done thus far in her career.
Sunny as Jagan
Krishna as Karthik
Raviraj as Abhay
Roiel Shree as Harsha
Subbaraju as Hegde
Prudhvi as Gajendra
Divya Vani as CI Umadevi
Divi as Ramya Nayak
Harshini as Niloufer
Ramakrishna as Seth
Shafi as Mentor
Dayanandh Reddy as Yesu Babu
Rohini Naidu as Gulabi
Story writer, Creator, Showrunner: Harish Shankar
Screenplay, Direction: C Chandra Mohan
Additional Screenplay: Phani
Dialogue: Vijay Muthyam, CP Emmanuel
Cinematography: Monic Kumar G
Music: Prashanth R Vihari
Editing: Ashwin S
Art: Srinivas Punna
Co-Direction: Krishna Shankar Chinta
Executive Producer: Akul N
Casting: Puhpa Bhaskar
Production: Harshith Reddy, Hanshitha on Dil Raju Productions
CEO: Meher Kilaru
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