Telugu film industry, India's second biggest,
turns 75

Telugu film industry, India's second biggest, turns 75

By Mohammed Shafeeq, Hyderabad, Jan 26: The Telugu film industry, the
second biggest film industry in the country after the Mumbai-based
Hindi film industry, better known as Bollywood, turned 75 Friday.

The platinum jubilee celebrations kicked off here last night with
Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy sounding the clapper board at a
in the presence of some industry veterans.

Reddy also released a postal cover brought out by the department of
posts marking the milestone reached by the film industry.

While the inaugural ceremony organised by the state government proved
a damp squib due to the absence of top actors and actresses, the
three-day celebrations, which is beginning late Friday, is expected to
add glamour to the party.

Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao, the eminent filmmaker
who holds the Guinness World Records for directing the highest number
of films in the world, superstars of yesteryears Krishna and actor
Mohan Babu, who got the Padma Shri this year, were among a few
veterans present on the occasion.

The chief minister promised to extend full support to the industry and
referred to steps already taken by the government including removal of
slab system in film theatres, prevent video piracy and allotment of
land for setting up a film studio in Visakhapatnam.

Megastar Chiranjeevi, who is virtually ruling the industry for nearly
two decades, will be the attraction of the celebrations by the
industry along with Venkatesh, Nagarjuna, Mahesh Babu and several
glamorous actresses.

An exhibition of photos and posters of movies made during the last 75
years has been organised as part of the celebrations, which will have
three elements of music, dance and drama. The celebrations will
showcase the evolution of Telugu cinema in the three areas.

Special seminars and workshops on filmmaking are also being held.
Special movies will be screened to pay tribute to Telugu film greats
including thespian N.T. Rama Rao, who also served as the state's chief

The first Telugu film, 'Bhatka Prahalada', was made in 1931. It was
directed by Hanumappa Muniappa Reddy. Most of the initial Telugu
talkies released had mythological stories that drew inspiration from
the vibrant Telugu drama and stage industry.

Tollywood, as the Telugu film industry is often called, moved from
Kolkata to Rajahmundry in 1936-37, but soon shifted to Madras (now
Chennai) where it remained for decades.

The industry started shifting to Hyderabad in 1955 when Sarathi
Studios was set up here. But it was only in mid 1990s that the entire
Telugu movie-making business moved to Hyderabad. Even now, about 10
percent of the music for Telugu films is made in Chennai.

Second only to Bollywood in terms of the number of films made,
Tollywood makes about 150 films every year. The industry, which
accounts for one percent of the state's GDP, registered a turnover of
Rs.2.5 billion last year.

However, video piracy poses the biggest threat to the industry and
according to industry estimates, it is suffering Rs.1.5-Rs.2 billion
loss every year.

--- IANS

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