Trade analysts say big budget films are likely to bear the brunt. Of the 6,000 members of the film chamber, only 800 are from Telangana while 5200 are from Andhra.
The Rs. 10 billion worth Telugu film industry is in the throes of an unprecedented turmoil in the wake of bifurcation. Trade analysts say big budget films are likely to be worst hit by this unrest.
Post-bifurcation, the domination of Andhra members in the film fraternity has become an eyesore to their counterparts in Telangana who now demand prominent role and division of what was so far Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce (APFCC).
The recent APFCC general body meeting held in Hyderabad was a stormy one with producers from Andhra and Telangana locking horns on the division issue.
Vijayender Reddy, president of the Hyderabad Film Chamber of Commerce (HFCC) which is now renamed Telangana Film Chamber of Commerce (TFCC), accused the APFCC members of not just dominating the industry all these years but also discriminating against their Telangana counterparts. He said the Andhra members did not want to recognise or encourage Telangana and demanded division of everything along the lines of the State bifurcation.
“We want the KCR government to recognise only the TFCC while Andhra Pradesh government should extend recognition to APFCC. The APFCC has properties worth Rs. 20 crore of which, assets valued at Rs. 18 crore are in Andhra region. Of the 20 employees of the APFCC, only one is from Telangana while all 16 office-bearers are from Andhra region,” said Mr. Reddy over telephone.
“We want the film industry to be united but we also want equal opportunities. Our people deserve to be part of the industry. Of the 6,000 members of the film chamber, only 800 are from Telangana while 5200 are from Andhra. Let them work here since they (Andhra producers) have been around for last 15-20 years. Our aim is to bring films from Telangana into prominence,” he said.
The APFCC members, meanwhile, are worried over the ‘disastrous’ impact of the possible split. “The film chamber is not a political body. It is very unwise on the part of Telangana members to come up with such an absurd demand. Telugu film industry is an entertainment sector that can’t be divided,” says R.V. Bhupal Prasad, former secretary and executive committee member of the APFCC.
The APFCC members, incidentally, have agreed for a name change – Telugu Film Chamber of Commerce.
They fear that the next general body meeting slated for July 4, may unfold yet another round of animosity.