Hyderabad: During the lockdown, beautiful drone footage of Hyderabad’s skyline — picturing the old city’s charm and the new city’s grandeur — went viral across social media platforms. The denizens delved into the beauty of empty roads, blue skies, and iconic spots of the city. Dulam Satyanarayana, a Telangana-based award-winning documentary filmmaker, is the man behind this marvel. He, along with a team of five, worked relentlessly for three days to document the aerial view of the city’s lockdown.
In the month of June, when COVID-19 cases were at its peak, Satyanarayana and his team made a series of documentary films on frontline warriors — paramedical staff, healthcare workers, police, and GHMC sanitation workers.
“We ventured into the containment zones by donning personal protective equipment (PPE) as a part of our filming. At first, it seemed daunting to wear such heavy equipment and work. But when we saw doctors wearing PPE kits for 6-8 hours at a stretch, it appeared to be less difficult. It was inspiring”, said Satyanarayana, while talking to siasat.com.
As a part of the documentary series, he bravely took up to shoot at the state-run Gandhi Hospital, Nature Cure Hospital, and King Koti Hospital, all designated COVID-19 hospitals. He documented the travails of the doctors, how they endlessly toiled to provide medical care to COVID patients. The team also documented the stories of patients, their grit and willpower to beat the virus and their recovery process.
The health department and the hospital officials co-operated the team’s efforts by advising precautions and allowing them to film in the isolation wards of COVID-19 patients.
“The main objective was to document the positivity that is necessary for the cure. In a positive environment, the patients are hopeful about their recovery. Unlike what is perceived outside with fear, it is easily curable when the treatment and precautions are taken as per instruction. Only patients with co-morbidities need special attention,” he said.
Unfortunately on June 22, Satyanarayana himself tested positive for COVID-19. He was quick to inform his team-mates, among which three tested positive too. He underwent three-week home quarantine, with treatment as suggested. On July 15, he tested negative and was back into action with his camera.
About his recovery, Satyanarayana says, “Working closely with doctors and COVID-19 patients also helped me a lot in the recovery process. My quarantine period ended on July 14. I resumed my work immediately after, on July 17. My team members who contracted the virus also are back at work. Currently, I am working on my personal project.”
“Many of the documented short videos are being released on a weekly basis by the Ministry of Municipal and Urban Development on social media,” he added.
Satyanarayana, the founder of the production company DSN Films, is also associated with the Government of Telangana for various projects. His tourism film Welcome to Telangana won the best tourism film award at the prestigious ART&TUR International Tourism Film Festival held in Portugal in 2016.