Indian epic ‘RRR’ begins Oscar campaign with S.S. Rajamouli

Following the global success of India’s hit action blockbuster RRR, acclaimed filmmaker SS Rajamouli heads to Los Angeles this month for a major personal career retrospective that could also boost the film’s Oscar hopes.

The month-long program From Tollywood to Hollywood: The Spectacle & Majesty of SS Rajamouli is part of the 10th edition of LA’s Beyond Fest, the best-attended genre festival in the US, where the 48-year-old writer-director will be making his debut Appeared at an American festival with several of his most famous films.

It is the first retrospective in the US for Rajamouli, who has made twelve feature films since 2001 and is considered one of his country’s most outstanding filmmakers.

Fans of Telugu language cinema, dubbed Tollywood, know Rajamouli as a master of spectacle whose films Baahubali: The Beginning (2015), Baahubali 2: The Conclusion (2017) and RRR are among the highest budgeted and are among the highest-grossing Indian films to date.

But the runaway success of RRR, a 1920s historical epic starring Ram Charan and NT Rama Rao Jr. as folk heroes banding together against Britain’s Raj, pushed the film and Rajamouli past their initial $140 million worldwide even greater crossover acclaim box office run. Despite running for over 3 hours, it achieved massive success in May with its theatrical re-release EncoRRRe and Netflix streaming debut, fueled by brisk word of mouth and social media fervor.

Presented by Beyond Fest, American Cinematheque, IMAX, Variance Films, Potentate Films and the Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles, viewers will have the opportunity to watch Raju from Charan and Bheem from Rama Rao battle tigers, with motorcycles juggling and juggling “Naatu Naatu” her way across the screen at IMAX on September 30th at the historic TCL Chinese Theater in Hollywood, in the presence of the director.

Ram Charan (above) and NT Rama Rao Jr. star in the global action hit "RRR."

Ram Charan (above) and NT Rama Rao Jr. star in global action hit ‘RRR.’

(courtesy of DVV Entertainment)

The series continues on October 1 at Santa Monica’s Aero Theater with a nine-hour marathon of its action epics Baahubali and Baahubali 2, as well as Eega (2012), about a man reincarnated as a fly, in which Rajamouli becomes attached to a Participate in cross-career Q&A. His 2009 fantasy action film Magadheera, also starring Charan, and 2010 family drama Maryada Ramanna will screen in October at Beyond Fest, which runs September 27-October 11.

And while Netflix’s Hindi language version of “RRR” became the most popular Indian film according to the streamer, Beyond Fest’s Rajamouli program will be presented in its original Telugu with English subtitles and intermissions.

“Since its inception, Beyond Fest has worked tirelessly to provide film fans with the best theatrical experiences in the world. From Tollywood to Hollywood delivers on that promise,” said Beyond Fest co-founder Christian Parkes in a statement. “Celebrating the world’s greatest filmmaker and bringing the world’s greatest film, ‘RRR’, to the IMAX in the world’s most famous cinema is the dreamlike culmination of decades of work.”

While in LA, Rajamouli will also serve as a guest programmer, presenting a black and white 35mm screening of Charlie Chaplin’s 1931 film City Lights as part of the American Cinematheque’s Sunday Print Edition series at Los Feliz 3.

Chaplin’s classic silent film is a longtime favorite of Rajamouli, the filmmaker shared on an episode of Joe Dante’s Trailers from Hell podcast. Born into a family of filmmakers, he grew up around comics and films, growing up watching a rare screening of City Lights between Indian film screenings at a local cinema.

As ‘RRR’ distributors eye a potential Oscar bid, Rajamouli supporters hope his visit to LA will introduce the filmmaker and his work to US awards voters – a nominated film in 20 years, and many ” RRR champions believe the film and its director have garnered enough international box office, buzz and acclaim to swing in multiple categories.

Tickets for the From Tollywood to Hollywood events go on sale Thursday, September 8th through the American Cinematheque. The full lineup for Beyond Fest 2022 will be announced next week.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/movies/story/2022-09-07/rrr-s-s-rajamouli-oscars-beyond-fest Indian epic ‘RRR’ begins Oscar campaign with S.S. Rajamouli

Sarah Ridley

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