Awards feast for Telugu films

Staff Reporter

HYDERABAD: After a long drought at the prestigious national film awards, the Telugu film industry reaped a rich harvest in the 2004 edition of the awards announced in New Delhi on Wednesday, bagging three national awards and also the elusive best regional film award.

K. Viswanath's `Swarabhishekham' won the national award for best music director to Vidyasagar and also the best regional film in the regional films category. The Telugu film `Grahanam' based on a novel by path breaking litterateur, Chalam, got the Indira Gandhi award for best first film of a director for Mohan Krishna Indraganti.

`Anji', starring megastar Chiranjeevi with Kodi Ramakrishna wielding the megaphone and Chota K. Naidu behind the camera, got the national award for its special effects.

Industry experts described the rich haul as a fillip to the Telugu film industry, which was going through a lean patch with several blockbusters of big heroes faring badly this year. "These awards coupled with the debacle of all those big potboilers only goes on to emphasize the need for the industry to break away from its routine formulae and experiment more. We have to look out for refreshing and original ideas," they said.

`Welcome recognition'

For all the problems that M. Shyamprasad Reddy, producer of `Anji' went through making his film for six long years and the ignominy of its lean run, this was a welcome recognition. "It is a great relief. It is like a drizzle on a hot summer afternoon in the Sahara desert. It gives me the strength to carry on", the producer who toiled on the film's special effects untiringly despite criticism from all quarters, enthused.

Mr. Reddy was particular in his praise for the `four kids' as he affectionately calls them, the graduates of National Institute of Design (NID) Ahmedabad — Sanath, Rahul, Phani and Nagesh — who floated `Firefly Creative Studios' and translated his special effects dream onto the screen. "They hired over 65 animators from all over the country and worked for 20 to 22 hours a day and achieved in six months, what my former creative consultant from London could not do in five years," the producer said.

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