He loved the idea and decided to start one of his own at Ameerpet in Hyderabad, through which he slowly developed connections with the film world.Rachel Dwyer, a reader in world cinema at the University of London-Department of South Asia, marked Varma's Satya as an experiment with a new genre, a variation of film noir that has been called Mumbai Noir, of which Varma is the acknowledged master.In 2010, Varma received critical acclaim at the Fribourg International Film Festival, Switzerland; a retrospective of his filmography, highlighting Mumbai Noir was staged by film critic Edouard Waintrop, a delegate in the Directors' Fortnight of the Cannes Film Festival.
Siva explores the concepts of student exploitation by anti-social behavior and the impact of crowd psychology.
The 1993 political drama, Gaayam received six state Nandi Awards.
In 1999, He directed Prema Katha for which he received his third Nandi Award for Best Director. Over a period of time, I developed a low-angle fascination for larger than life people.
Widely known for presenting the Indian Gangster Trilogy, film critic Rajeev Masand has labeled the series as one of the "most influential movies of Hindi cinema. I was just fascinated by people, so I used to study their behaviour. I was always a loner – not because I was unhappy, but because I live away from myself, not just others. Even during this period, Varma remained a film buff, through his uncle.
From my parents' perspective, I looked like a useless bum. I was most fascinated by the bullies in my classroom. They had the guts to push around people, do things I couldn't— perhaps did not even want to do myself. I like to study myself – the way I am walking, talking, behaving. Varma would skip classes often and watch films instead.
My constant obsession with studying myself and other people is perhaps the primary motivation for me to be a filmmaker. He would watch the same film repeatedly "just to watch certain scenes which interested him." According to him, that is how he learned film direction.
After a brief stint as a site engineer for Krishna Oberoi hotel in Hyderabad, he put his dreams on the back burner and decided to go to Nigeria to make some money.
It was at this moment that he visited a video rental library in Hyderabad.
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