Many in the industry attribute it to lack of theme-based parallel and social cinema

A day after the national awards were announced, different feelings were expressed for the dismal performance of Telugu films at the 58th National Film Awards. The only feather in the cap was ‘Advaitam', a non-feature film made by Vijayapal Reddy that was adjudged the Best Educational Film.

Half-a-dozen films sent

People in the industry reacted differently, but the one common point was the extreme disappointment at not a single one of the 130-odd movies churned out last year by an industry, which is the second largest producer of films, clicking at the awards. At least half-a-dozen were said to have been sent for the jury to watch, including ‘Vedam', ‘Leader', ‘Param Veera Chakra', Prasthanam, ‘Broker' and ‘Gangaputrulu', but apparently they were not good enough.

Producer M. Shyamprasad Reddy, known for blockbusters like ‘Ammoru' and ‘Arundhati', says it is probably because of the disinterest of filmmakers in coming up with theme-based parallel and social cinema that Telugu films do not find favour at the national-level. “I know films made in South India are far better in all aspects of film-making, but by and large, our industry is more oriented towards producing commercial films.

“The industry needs to look at message-oriented and theme cinema like Bengali, Malayalam and Tamil films, but unless there is patronage and people come forward to see them, I do not see Telugu films getting national awards,” he added.

Ask D. Suresh Babu, managing director, Suresh Productions, and he comes out with an exactly opposite reason. “The state of affairs clearly shows that others are making better films and that we are weak, technically-speaking. You reap what you sow. Median of the Telugu film industry across all the 24 crafts clearly stayed stagnant over the years or even gone down progressively. It is unfortunate, but we need to admit it.”

‘We did our best'

Radhakrishna ‘Krish' Jagarlamudi of ‘Gamyam' and ‘Vedam' fame throws up his hands in despair. “I do not understand the reason. No mention of our films at the national awards scene is bad enough. We did our best and sent them, but do not understand why the national jury does not acknowledge them. I know how to make good films and I will continue to do so. But is there no Telugu film qualified even under the regional best film category?” he said. Whatever the reasons, it is time for introspection in the Telugu film industry. Perhaps it is time our filmmakers started lobbying for their products, is what some people in the industry feel.

  • Telugu film industry has gone down progressively: D. Suresh Babu of Suresh Productions

  • Some feel it is time Telugu filmmakers start lobbying for their products