Telugu star Sundeep Kishan is very kicked about his ready –for-release film A1 Express. “It is my first sports film, and that too about hockey, a sport that has been neglected for way too long.”
Sundeep hopes to create awareness about the game’s potential. “Look at how kabbaddi has grown every since it got corporatized. I hope to see hockey getting the same kind of makeover, though I am not so ambitious as to believe my film can do the turnaround in the fortunes of the game.”
Sundeep whose last Telugu film Tenali Ramakrishna BA BL was well-received, laments the paucity of films on hockey. “There have been two very significant films in Hindi cinema ChakDe and Soorma on hockey. But that’s it. I’m proud to say we’re among the first to give sports and hockey so much importance in the South.”
Sundeep reveals that AI Express is a remake of a Tamil hit. “That’s right.We bought the remake rights of the Tamil film Natpe Thunai, but made quite a few changes from the original. We moved the goal posts in the plot to give it a more rounded look. We built on the character, gave them more space .”
Sundeep who plays the lead, learnt hockey from scratch. “Of course I knew hockey. I watched the game , but never played it. For the film I learnt to play hockey well enough to look like a professional. We also hired some state-level hockey champs to play in the film.All in all, I feel we’ve made a film that does the game proud.”
The film releases only in theatres on March 5.
Says Sundeep, “We got some really tempting offers from digital platforms. But we desisted . A1 Express was made for the big screen. We cannot put content designed for movie theatres on the digital platform. The two outlets must have a separate existence.”