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Agitations hit new film releases

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Mob fury: Irate pro-Telangana activists protest in front of PR office at Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad on Wednesday. —
The Hindu
Mob fury: Irate pro-Telangana activists protest in front of PR office at Jubilee Hills in Hyderabad on Wednesday. —

Industry prefers to wait and watch than release films

Stoppage of releases will trigger closure of shootings leading to unemployment: producer

Industry to appeal to people and politicians not to link personal stand of stars to releases

HYDERABAD: The Telugu silver screen is all set to burn, not with mega hits, but boycotts and threats of disruptions. The unsavoury political developments in the State for the past 15 days have cast its shadow on the film industry leading to postponement of several new releases lined up for the auspicious Christmas-Sankranti season.

Some big budget films like ‘Adurs’ starring NTR, ‘KD’ with Nagarjuna in the lead role, ‘Shambho Shiva Shambho’ of Ravi Teja, ‘Namo Venkatesha’ starring Venkatesh were to hit the screens during this period apart from ‘Leader’ in which D. Ramanaidu’s grandson Rana is making a debut. Some of these releases have been put on hold till Sankrati.

The industry, sources said, are unnerved by the agitations in Telangana, Coastal Andhra and Rayalaseema regions and prefer to adopt a wait and watch policy than release the films in this turmoil.

They fear closure of cinema halls and volatile atmosphere will anyway hit the collections and there is no point in releasing them now. The bigger fear lurking is the vertical division of the State building pressure on the industry to make its stand clear.

Films disrupted

A report that some bigwigs of industry will adopt a unified State stand has raised passions in Telangana region leading to disruption of screening of Allu Arjun starrer – ‘Arya 2’ and Vishnu Manchu’s ‘Saleem’.

If emotions run high, not many films are likely to escape the wrath of agitators in Telangana as the industry is literally ruled by those with Coastal Andhra roots.

“It’s a catch-22 situation. In this emotionally charged atmosphere any statement in favour or against will add fuel to the fire,” said a distributor. “Unlike other sectors, glamour of film stars adds to the stand taken and seeps right into the village level fast. The reactions too are expected quickly,” says a popular hero requesting anonymity.

In dilemma

Unfortunately, producers can’t hold back the releases for a long time. Pressure from financers to pay back will grow.

“A huge crisis awaits the industry as stoppage of releases will trigger closure of shootings creating unemployment for lakhs,” says a producer.

To overcome the crisis, the industry is planning to a joint appeal to the people and politicians of all warring sides not to link the personal stands of stars to the release of their respective films.


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