The Telugu television industry, which till recently waged a battle against dubbed serials, now finds itself faced with a completely new situation.
On the question of serials being dubbed from other languages, artistes, technicians and producers had joined hands and won major concessions from channels. Now, with the decision to bifurcate the State, the question is how it could impact the Telugu television industry, which over the last two decades had built a base for itself in Hyderabad.
Apart from the location of channels, the city has associated paraphernalia like edit suites, units, identified locations and guesthouses for shooting. Most in the industry do not foresee an immediate impact owing to the recent developments.
“The entire infrastructure is here, and it will take at least 10 to 15 years for it to be set up at a new centre,” says Pradeep, one of the seniormost Telugu TV personalities. Perhaps, a separate TV development corporation could be set up in the new capital, which should be followed by creation of infrastructure in the form of units and edit suites.
“Artistes and technicians will be invited only then. It is still a long road, and right now there will not be much of an impact,” Pradeep adds. From technicians and artistes to producers, it is admitted that the Telugu television industry has a more visible presence of professionals from the Andhra region.
However, this could be traced to the days when Telugu TV in its nascent stage used to operate from Chennai, aver seniors in the industry.
Flocking to Chennai
“Many went from Andhra to Chennai, and when the industry shifted to Hyderabad, they came here. That way, their visibility is definitely higher,” says Vinod Bala, a senior actor-producer. The possibility of a split in the industry is ruled out as such a move will not be feasible.
At present, the city has more than 50 edit suites and several more units, while neither of the major cities, Vijayawada or Visakhapatnam, has any similar professional set-ups. “Setting up such an infrastructure is cumbersome and takes a long time,” Bala feels.
“Since the Telugu language is a common binding factor, and dialects and accents have been accepted in both parts, the bifurcation might not lead to immediate separation of the industry,” reasons Telugu television celebrity Jhansi.
In the coming years, there could be more serials and soaps happening, with nuances from either side. “Bonalu might be the festive backdrop in Telangana for soaps and Sankranthi in Andhra,” she adds.
AP TV Federation president Nagabala Suresh Kumar hopes that the industry will remain “united in separation”.
Andhra does have a major presence in the industry from investments to studios to technicians, he says, adding, “Art and artistes, however, operate beyond boundaries.”