Promotional stills from the motion picture: Grahanam

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Costume Designer for the Telugu feature film Grahanam (The Eclipse), which won the Indira Gandhi Award for Best First Film of a Director in 2005.

Working on Grahanam was a great experience. My work as costume designer became extra exciting because of the limitations within which I had to work. The budget was small, the technology used was digital, two very important terrains to traverse carefully. Some of the costumes used in the film belonged to the actors, and some others, designed for the occasion. The story was set roughly in the early 20th century, so the textile had to be cotton, a type that Brahmins would wear. For the rich saris of the female protagonist, the obvious choice was traditional silk and cotton saris. Working with a range of these sources was not easy, but then nothing was easy on Grahanam! The effort of everyone on the film was that things congealed well to communicate to the audience the power of the story. The most memorable experience for me was when people pointed out how unobtrusive and effective the costumes were. Then, did I not walk a lot looking for the right material in the interior bazaars of Secunderabad and Hyderabad and give precise instructions about how they should not be stitched? I savour many quiet moments of success with Grahanam.

Film poster

Assistant director on the Telugu feature film, Wife of V. Varapasad in 1997.