Mixed feelings are doing the rounds in the Telugu film industry that experienced the pangs of a shift from erstwhile Madras, decades ago. After going through tough times, Filmnagar here is on par with the best in the country and attracts the best of talent from abroad.
On the eve of the appointed day, June 2, when Andhra Pradesh gets divided officially, questions arise about how the Rs.1,100 crore industry feels. Broadly speaking, filmmakers aren’t too concerned and only look at the whole issue of bifurcation as an opportunity.
When asked, producer Allu Arvind (brother-in-law of actor, Rajya Sabha Member and former Union Minister K. Chiranjeevi), who runs the banner Geeta Arts, pointed out that the Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce is being renamed ‘Telugu Film Chamber of Commerce’. “Eventually, the industry will establish itself in two States. “It is not like the industry vanished from Chennai and came here, right?” he said.
“Telugu-land is my home. People will have to move on, wherever there is opportunity. We are all creative people, trained and more importantly, Telugu-speaking, so I don’t see any problem at all. I have no mixed feelings,” summed up actor-producer Akkineni Nagarjuna.
Director-producer Tammareddy Bharadwaja recalled how over time, the Kannada, Malayalam and Telugu film industry had shifted from Madras. “It is not as if we have to shut shop here and go to Seemandhra. The industry will expand wherever incentives are provided. Ultimately, it is also about business,” he stated, recalling how Saradhi Studios was set up in Hyderabad around 1955 by Ramakrishna Prasad and spawned others to establish expansive facilities.