Mohana Krishna Indraganti

Director, Screenplay, Dialogue Writer
National Film Award, Nandi Award
Mohana Krishna Indraganti
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Mohan Krishan Indraganti
Tanuku, Andhra Pradesh
Film director, screenwriter
National Film Award
Nandi Award

Mohana Krishna Indraganti is an award-winning Telugu film director from India. His first directorial venture Grahanam in 2005 fetched him 11 awards with the prominent ones being the National Film Award, Nandi Award and Gollapudi Srinivas Memorial Award.1

Early life
Indraganti Mohana Krishna was born in the Telugu Brahmin family in Tanuku, a small town in the coastal district of West Godavari in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. Since his parents, Indraganti Srikanth Sharma and Janaki Bala, and grandparents were writers, he had a fascination towards fiction since his childhood. His grandmother's stories were visually detailed in their narration. In addition to this, he has been an avid reader of literary works and also loved to discuss films with his uncle. In an interview, he said that these were the key reasons that contributed to his interest in filmmaking.2

His upbringing was from Vijayawada where he completed his schooling and obtained his Bachelor's degree in Arts from Loyola College. Thereafter, he pursued his interest in Arts by obtaining a Master's degree in English language and Philosophy from University of Hyderabad.3 Once he appeared interested in filmmaking, his parents asked him to get formal education in it. Subsequently, he applied to enroll in one of the courses at the Pune-based Film and Television Institute of India; however, his application was rejected.4 In the meanwhile, he was the writer and associate director for Mahandhra, a socio-cultural, economic and political study of the erstwhile state of Andhra. This study, made in a documentary-drama format for Doordarshan, was performed in commemoration of India's 50th year of independence.5 He sent creative samples from this study to Toronto-based York University. This helped him join and complete Master of Fine Arts in Film and Television during 1998−2000. Even though he registered to continue for his Doctoral degree in Communication and Culture, he discontinued it after a year and returned to Hyderabad in 2001.4

Foray into films
Though his first feature film Grahanam was first drafted in 1997, his amateurish skills is constructing the screenplay didn't help much at that time. This draft was based on Doshagunam, a short story written by Gudipati Venkatachalam (popularly known as Chalam), a yesteryear and a controversial Telugu writer and philosopher.6 Since screenplay writing was his specialization in his Master of Fine Arts course at York University, he reworked on the script by the time he returned to Hyderabad.2

To bring this script to cinema, he approached several producers to help him finance it. Even though all of them were fascinated by his story, they were hesitant about its commercial viability. After three years of futile search and despair, Indraganti decided to produce the film with his own money. Chalam's daughter gave him permission to make a film from one of her father's literary works. When veteran Telugu cinema actor Tanikella Bharani was approached with a promising role in the film and a request for enacting without any compensation, he agreed to do so.2 Out of goodwill, he introduced Indraganti to one of his producer friends who agreed to produce the movie.2 His debut film fetched him 11 awards with the prominent ones being the National Film Award, Nandi Award bestowed by Government of Andhra Pradesh and Gollapudi Srinivas Memorial Award.1 In 2006, his second directorial venture was Mayabazaar that featured Bhumika Chawla and Raja in the leading roles. After a gap of two years, his next film Ashta Chamma, which featured Colours Swathi and Nani, Srinivas Avasarala and Bhargavi as a quirky group of friends, was released in 2008.7