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Chiranjeevi announces new fantasy film

by Stewart Cole

Telugu star Chiranjeevi has announced a new untitled feature film to be directed by Vassishta. The fantasy drama will be produced by Vamsi, Pramod and Vikram.

Born in Konidela Sivasankara Varaprasad, in a career spanning over four decades, Chiranjeevi has starred in more than 150 feature films, mostly in Telugu, with a few in Hindi, Tamil and Kannada. In 2006 he was awarded the Padma Bhushan, India’s third highest civilian award, for his contribution to Indian cinema.

Chiranjeevi started his film career with Punadhirallu, though his first released film was Pranam Khareedu. He is also known for playing the anti-hero in films like I Love You and K. Balachander’s Idi Katha Kaadu, starring Kamal Haasan. He played the main antagonist in films like Mosagadu, Rani Kasula Rangamma, 47 Natkal, Nyayam Kavali and Ranuva Veeran.

Chiranjeevi began appearing in lead roles in films such as Intlo Ramayya Veedhilo Krishnayya (1982), directed by Kodi Ramakrishna, and Subhalekha, directed by K. Viswanath, He is also remembered for many lead roles such as Patnam Vachina Pativrathalu and Billa Ranga.

He received wide acclaim for Swayamkrushi (1987), directed by K. Viswanath, while Pasivadi Pranam (1987), Yamudiki Mogudu (1988) and Manchi Donga (1988) did well at the box office. Some experimental projects at this time include Kondaveeti Donga, the first Telugu film to be released in 6-track 70mm stereo, the western genre Kodamasimham and the social action film Gang Leader (1991), which were box office successes.

North Indian audiences got to know the actor for films like Pratibandh and Aaj Ka Goonda Raaj. The mid-1990s saw a career dip for him with blockbusters like Mechanic Alludu, SP Parasuram, Big Boss and Rikshavodu. There were exceptions such as Mutha Mestri, Mugguru Monagallu and Alluda Majaka who were moderately successful.

More recently, he has appeared in films like GodFather, also starring Salman Khan, Waltair Veerayya and Bhola Shanker which released on Independence Day. Chiranjeevi founded the Praja Rajyam Party in 2008 and contested the 2009 Andhra Pradesh elections. He served as Minister of Tourism with an independent administration between 2012 and 2014.

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