Akkineni Nageswara Rao (ANR) was one of the very first to move his film business lock, stock and barrel, from the then Madras city to Hyderabad.
This apart, Telugu film industry, that has the distinction of producing the second largest number of films next only to Bollywood, owes a lot to him for motivating others to follow suit, during the late 70s and early 80s. This was what several industry personalities remembered, as they came to the Annapurna Studios here on Wednesday, where they were present to pay their last respects.
D. Suresh Babu, son of the Movie Moghul D. Rama Naidu and who runs Suresh Productions, recalled that as Nageswara Rao’s children were growing up, he realised the need for them to find their cultural and linguistic moorings. He then decided to shift here and bought a house in Begumpet after selling the one he had in Chennai.
Even as time passed and ANR was becoming more and more popular, he made it clear to the film producers that he would work in their films only if they were produced here in Andhra Pradesh.
The only exceptions he would make were for Vahini and Venus Studios, for which he used to work in Chennai.
Then Annapurna Studios was established on a 22-acre spread in Banjara Hills. “The first film to be made here after it was inaugurated by President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed in 1976 was Secretary, produced by my father,” Mr. Suresh Babu recalled, adding that ANR and NTR were personalities who symbolised Telugu cinema in its entirety.
Veteran producer V.B. Rajendra Prasad, who made 14 films with ANR, including the runaway success Dasara Bullodu recalled how the thespian inspired others to shift to Hyderabad. Producer-Director Tammareddy Bharadwaja narrated how his father Tammareddy Krishnamurthy made Zamindar, Bangaru Gajulu, Dattaputrudu and Dharmadata with ANR in the lead during the 60s and 70s, here in Hyderabad.