The ongoing Samaikyandhra agitation has helped small budget films, where the story is the hero rather than stars

The ongoing Samaikyandhra agitation has come as a blessing in disguise for the ‘star-less’ small films that are usually deprived of theatres for screening as the films of ‘stars’ literally occupy them.

Ever since the big budget movies including Pawan Kalyan starrer Attarintiki Daredi were postponed due to the fear of incurring agitators’ wrath, many small budget movies have hit the screens and quite a few are slated for release in the coming days.

Close to 15 movies were released in August month alone and of these, a few movies like Anthaku mundu aataruvata, Romance got good reviews and are doing considerable business.

The agitation has immensely helped the small films where the story is the hero rather than the stars. Had the big budget movies released as per schedule, many of these would not have got theatres for months and eventually the producers would have suffered losses, says Natti Kumar, chairman, A.P. Film Chamber of Commerce Producers Distributors’ Sectors. Mainly, viewers would have lost an opportunity to see films with fresh ideas.

There was a time when a few small budget movie producers approached State Human Rights Commission complaining that they were deprived of theatres to screen their movies.

“Though we have got nothing against big budget movies, the present atmosphere proves that people welcome small budget movies provided their content is good. Unfortunately, due to the agitations, the entire film industry is at loss,” he says.

Thanks to the technology and advanced cameras, movie makers are making films with low budget and the chance of recovering their investments is bright. Generally, budgets of small movies are anything between Rs. 50 lakh and Rs. 1 crore.

But irrespective of the nature of movies, theatre owners and distributors continue to stare at losses.

It’s true that many small budget movies are now getting about 50 theatres to release movies, but not all films are doing business. Bad films are being rejected. A section that roots for the bigger stars is also staying away from theatres, explains M. Vijayender Reddy, president of Telangana Film Chamber of Commerce.

Theatre owners incur about Rs. 13,000 expenditure to screen a movie per day and the hall has to be filled to ensure some profits.

Its not just Seemandhra region theatre managements, even those in Telangana are suffering losses as the expenditure is the same for big or small movies, says Mr. Reddy.

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