An interview with Kiran Kondamadugula, director of “ID”

Kiran Kondamadugula


«My idea of cinema is to create moving images from an individual perspective that can move the audience while watching those images.»



Kiran is an IT professional who is into film-making for more than 10 years. Kiran started making short films in 2012 and debuted with an indie feature film titled GATHAM in 2020 on Amazon Prime. His second feature, ID is acquired by a leading distribution company in India and is gearing up for a worldwide digital debut in 2023. By directing/producing more than half a dozen short films, 1 web series, and 2 commercials, Kiran accumulated a wealth of experience in various crafts. His major strength is the screenplay and Kiran enjoys telling stories in a non-linear fashion.


What we liked most about your film is the interweaving of different stories and characters. How did you work to make your script into a film?
It might sound weird but I usually think of an ending and then reverse engineer all the way up to the beginning. Even though I am attracted to fantastical elements in the story writing, I keep the central character/s close to the real world to whom the audience can relate. With my plot line and central character/s figured out, I start digging into the character’s back story and traits. This helps me understand the way the character behaves being thrown into various situations. These situations will lead to subplots and the introduction of supporting characters. All these subplots and characters need not be woven together linearly but they all work in harmony to help the central character overcome the central conflict. So, in short, it all begins with the ending for me.


 Conflict and tension are the two central forces in your film. How did you figure out what would be the right balance to make this story work?


First hook. An essential element in storytelling. I always try to time-box my first act. Establishing the world and introducing the main character/s should not go beyond the 10th page/minute. And then there comes a hook that shocks the audience. If the first act delivers the necessary punch, the audience would be thrilled and anxious to know why that has happened and who is responsible.
But I cannot take their investment for granted and indulge in exploring the story in a melodramatic fashion. I write the scenes that move the story forward with palpable tension and mystery in the air. Be it through the ongoing events or the introduction of gray-shaded characters. With new characters and events introduced as the story moves forward, there is a risk of the audience losing focus on the actual conflict. So, it’s essential that I remind the audience consistently about the main stakes. Short answer: It comes through practice. Keep writing.


What draws you to filmmaking and cinematic language?


The freedom to express my way of looking at people and places via a visual medium. And the satisfaction of creating art that doesn’t need my physical abilities, unlike painting, singing, or dancing.



What is the distribution plan for your film and how do you plan to reach a wider audience for your project?


I have to thank Amazon Prime for believing in the content and acquiring my first indie feature Gatham in 2020. It was released across 160 countries and went on to rake in millions of watch hours. It helped me build a portfolio and pitch ID to various studios in India. We are on the verge of locking a deal with one of the top OTT players and I am hoping it is going to be a worldwide debut. And thanks to film festivals like Rome Prisma Film Awards, I can reach out to fellow filmmakers to showcase my movie and gather their thoughts. Helps me improve as I take one step at a time.



 What are your future plans for your career as a director?


I want to explore more genres and try not to limit myself to just dark thrillers. My next one is a heist drama and I am upbeat about this project.