Title: A part of the earnings from Tholi Prema’s re-release will go towards Pawan Kalyan’s Rythu Bharosa Yatra

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When Tholi Prema’s script landed in Pawan Kalyan’s hand, it changed my future: Director A Karunakaran Pawan Kalyan’s Tholi Prema will remain my favourite film forever, says Dil Raju

‘Tholi Prema’ (1998)is one of the greatest blockbusters in the Telugu film industry. As this iconic film of Pawan Kalyan is getting re-released in theatres, 25 years after its release, the cast and crew of the film shared their memries associated with the film on Saturday. Starring Pawan Kalyan and Keerthi Reddy in the lead roles, Tholi Prema (1998) will be released by Sri Matha Creations in 300 theatres in the Telugu States, on June 30.

‘Tholi Prema’ happened to be the first film for prominent producer Dil Raju as a distributor. “More than its producer GVG Raju garu, I enjoyed the movie Tholi Prema more. And I still continue to enjoy it to date,” Dil Raju said while launching the trailer at Ramanaidu Studios.

Sri Matha Creations producer Raghuram Reddy, “I thank everyone including director Karunakaran, actress Vasuki and producer GVG Raju for re-releasing Tholi Prema in theatres. The reason behind releasing the film even after 25 years is because of respect and love for this masterpiece. When I spoke to GVG Raju garu, he said okay to it and we’re releasing it on June 30 on a grand scale. A part of the earnings from this release will go towards Pawan Kalyan garu’s Rythu Bharosa Yatra and his sincere efforts to help farmers in Andhra Pradesh.”

Vivek Kuchibhotla said, “If I see the visuals of Tholi Prema (1998), Pawan Kalyan has the same energy even now in his upcoming film ‘Bro’. I am very happy to be here. As the re-release has picked up, even big films are in the race to come before audiences. I kept hearing from the industry friends who call and ask, ‘What’s the talk of this movie?’ So everything is going according to a certain procedure.”

Recalling the days of Tholi Prema, producer GVG Raju said, “It’s been 25 years since Tholi Prema was released. There was a saying back then, ‘Great pictures are not made, they happen’. So, director Karunakaran, music composer Deva garu, art director Anand Sai, and Chintapalli Ramana created this masterpiece Tholi Prema with divine grace. And I still remember Dil Raju was just Raju but he was so young and dynamic.

Explaining several memorable incidents when Tholi Prema went on the film sets, GVG Raju said, “During the filming of this film, art director Anand Sai and actress Vasuki fell in love and we got them married. While filming a fight sequence which comes before the interval bang, at Kodaikanal with one male and female dupe, the car plunged into a steep valley and both of them sustained fractures. Almost 300 ft down. We immediately rushed them to a hospital in Chennai for better medical care. Amidst the tension during the release of the film, both these accident victims came to us with a wedding card. They both fell in love after spending time together in hospital. It was surprising for us in fact, after the Anand Sai-Vasuki love episode. We had to get them married. I am happy to see them all again now at this event. I wish all the best to the team.”

Actress Vasuki, who played the role of Pawan Kalyan’s sister in Tholi Prema, said she was in Chennai when the film was released in July 1998. “So unfortunately I couldn’t attend any of the events related to Tholi Prema. Even though I got the Best Supporting Actress Award, I couldn’t come and receive it, unfortunately. Now I am very happy, I don’t know how many would get such an opportunity. It’s a privilege to be part of this re-release function here in Hyderabad,” Vasuki said.

Art director Anand Sai thanked Powerstar Pawan Kalyan for introducing him through Tholi Prema. “I also thank Karunakaran and Ganapathi Raju garu for giving so much support. During Tholi Prema’s making, I had no clue about the art direction. But Pawan Kalyan was the one who pushed me forward. Now I stand before you at this stage. I met Vasuki on the film sets. And my career took off. I thank Kalyan and then Ganapathi Raju garu. I want to remember Y. Maheedhar, the cameraman who passed before the film was released,” he added.

Director of the movie A. Karunakaran said, “Like droplets may fall anywhere when it rains bringing a new life, my story is similar to it when it landed in Pawan Kalyan’s hand and changed my future. I am ever thankful for the day when the film was released in theatres and went on to become a blockbuster flick.”

Dil Raju said, “Tholi Prema left a trail of great memories in our lives. Be it for Pawan Kalyan or be it for producer GVG Raju or for any other person who has been part of this blockbuster hit. In 1998, I was just an upcoming film distributor back then in the late ’90s. If anyone writes my biography in the future, there is a full chapter dedicated to me for this film ‘Tholi Prema’. Once Ravinder Reddy told me that a youngster named Pawan Kalyan has a story. A producer was on the line but then they dropped the plans and okayed the project with GVG Raju garu. That was the news I came to know. I came to Hyderabad by train from my hometown. I had no big films except Pelli Pandiri’ in those days. I met the producer in Jubilee Hills. Just in one sitting, I bought the rights of the film. And there was no looking back, I enjoyed the journey thoroughly. I must have made so many hit films but Tholi Prema is my special film. Here in the very environs of Ramanaidu, we had a preview. The discussion on the film, the interval bang, the songs were endless. During the 100-day function of Tholi Prema, I still remember we had an India-Pakistan cricket match on television. Sandhya 70 mm was screening Tholi Prema and Suryudu was being screened on Sandhya 35 mm. When we couldn’t control the crowd, we had to stop screening the other film and run Tholi Prema on the 35 mm screen. That was the euphoria Tholi Prema had created. I wish the entire world on this occasion for the re-release of the movie.”​
 
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