From 720p to 70mm – YouTube stars who made it to the silver screen


In the earlier days, if you had to make it to the silver screen, you had to go through thousands of auditions, meet producers and send your portfolio to casting directors. However, in the last five years, the game has changed.

YouTube has a huge number of short films, with millions of hits each. In Tamil cinema, Vijay Setupathy and Bobby Simha have successfully made the transition from YouTube short films to large budget films. In Telugu cinema, that process is still underway.

However, we also have a few actors who successfully went from YouTube to Silver Screen, thanks primarily to the large number of likes and shares on their videos. Here’s a list:



Ritu Verma shot to fame with the beautiful short film Anukokunda, a short film that won awards inspiring thousands of short films on YouTube, and even went to Cannes film festival in the short films category. Ritu Verma then went to star in movies, playing Kajal Aggarwal’s sister in Badshah, and then in Prema Ishq Kaaddal. She also had a role in Yevade Subramanyam, and looks set to soar forward in her acting career.



He has been making short films from the age of 16 in Vizag. He quit his engineering degree to pursue his passion, and starred in many short films on YouTube. Raj went on to tie up with P. Ram Mohan, the producer of Uyyala Jampala, which was produced by Annapurna Studios. Raj Tharun has his hands full, with Sukumar’s upcoming production – Kumari 21 F, and Cinema Choopista Mama, which is due for release.



Every graduate student might have seen her in atleast one short film and fallen for her charm. Along with her co-star Raj Tharun, she too worked on many short films from her college days in Vizag and has now managed to grab the title role in the big project presented by K Raghavendra Rao – Kundanapu Bomma. A much needed break for her, hope she carves a niche for herself.


satya dev

Based in Bangalore, Satya Dev always had acting ambitions. He starred in many short films, which were liked and shared by numerous short film enthusiasts across the two states. He was chosen by Puri Jagannath to star in Jyothilakshmi opposite Charmie, and even got noticed by Ram Gopal Verma for his acting.  



Shot to fame with ‘Lovaholic’, this handsome looking hunk was constantly working in shorts films proving that acting is what he has been made for. Debuted with Second Hand which couldn’t manage to do well, his latest is Kundanapu Bomma as one of the two male leads along side Chandini.



He became a household name with the short film Viva, a funny short film about the farce of vivas in engineering colleges. The funny faces he conjured up made his the centre of memes across social network, and his ‘Hello, brother!’ dialogue was copied by thousands of engineering students. Success was inevitable. Harsha went on to star in Surya V/S Surya, and has five more films in his kitty at the moment.



Looks like ‘Anukokunda’ was the claim to fame for a number of actors. The short film, which was the first truly viral short film in Telugu, also boosted Kireeti’s career, who went on to act in a number of films like Second Hand and Yevade Subramanyam.


Kaushal got noticed for writing and starring in the short film Crack – Say No To Drugs, and other short films on YouTube. Earlier, Kaushal Sharma went on to star in films like Gaalipatam, and Pyar Mein Padipoya. He also has other films in his kitty at the moment, and looks like he has a path charted out for himself.



He began acting from his college short films, and went on to do theatre and other short films. Blessed with a good grasp over Telugu and Tamil, this young actor now has a few films in hand, namely Terror starring Srikanth, and Bommala Ramaram. Unlike the others, he also aims to act in Tamil cinema, and you can find his thoughts and opinions on cinema on his blog, and on Facebook.



One of the firsts to try his hand on YouTube. He worked with Sujith, director of Run Raja Run during their short film making days. He went on star alongside Pawan Kalyan in Teenmaar and later Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chetu as Mahesh babu’s friend, which was quite big for a guy who used to make videos all by himself in the US.

Talent can take you across any boundaries – these actors proved it once again. Wish them good luck!!