K.N. Murali Sankar

Only 5 per cent of releases were successful in 2005

Producers of most films fall into debtsHalf of the hit movies in Telugu in 2005 were dubbed from Tamil Producers and directors should come out with innovative scripts

VIJAYAWADA: Film exhibitors, buyers and patrons from the city are wondering why there is a steep fall in the success rate of Telugu cinema in the year 2005.

Even as the State Government has taken steps like scrapping the slab system and allowing producers to hike ticket prices of high budget movies for the first two weeks, the film industry people are not happy due to the successive flops of new releases.

Cinema theatres across the State screened 218 new releases including 110 straight Telugu movies and 108 dubbed versions of films from other languages. However, only five per cent of these films have registered a success and the producers of the remaining films are thrown into debts. The fate of dubbing films is no different when it comes to the success rate.

Disappointing trend

"The trend is very disappointing. The distributors and exhibitors have spent all the time in waiting for new releases, as they are forced to change the film every week," says R.V. Bhupala Prasad, secretary of Krishna District Film Distributors Association and proprietor of Navarang theatre. A film can be run in theatres for a longer time only when it has patronage from audiences.

He finds fault with producers and directors for venturing into film production without having a complete script in hand. "Film industry people from Tamil Nadu are ahead in the success race. Half of the hit movies in Telugu in 2005 are the dubbed versions of Tamil movies," he observes.

Ticket price hike

Mr. Prasad feels that the State Government's decision of allowing producers to hike the ticket price for big budget movies for the first two weeks would harm the industry.

"Our audiences feel the existing prices of the tickets are high. How can we expect them to pay double the rate?" he asks.

Katragadda Narasayya, a film patron from the city, too criticises the Government's decision. "Why should we pay a higher amount to watch a mediocre film?" he points out. Mr. Narasayya advises the industry to give priority to quality and different presentation. The producers and directors should think beyond teenage romances and come out with innovative scripts, he says.

The industry, however, is looking towards commercial success in the New Year. "It is a good sign that all the big heroes are working with young directors," says Bayana Amaranath, executive member of Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce. "The Tamil heroes registered successes by working with new directors," he recalls.