Tollywood forgot its promise to Andhra Pradesh

Rajahmundry: Fourteen top Tollywood stars, ranging from mega star Chiranjeevi to natural star Nani, had vowed to shoot their big budget films in Andhra Pradesh as part of their contribution to promote the Telugu film industry, but they have avoided doing so on one pretext or other.

The previous Telugu Desam regime had persuaded the stars to shoot big budget films in AP, each for minimum of 10 days a year so that there will be at least 140 days of film shooting in the state. This would generate a lot of income for the fund-starved state in addition to providing employment to thousands of artists.

Though the stars agreed in principle, not many have done so citing trivial reasons such as huge numbers of people gathering to watch the shooting, and some stars who live in Hyderabad prefer to shoot in Telangana to avoid travelling to AP and camping there for some days.

Tollywood sources claim shooting of 30 big budget films is in progress in AP and top producers such as C. Kalyan and K.S. Rama Rao are involved. Shooting of two films has already been completed and arrangements are being made for their release soon.

Tollywood sources say that AP has yet to develop the required infrastructure for shooting big budget films and more skilled artistes and technicians are needed.

Top stars and film crew want air-conditioned studios with all the requisite facilities, high-tech cameras and lighting system and sophisticated equipment. Recording and dubbing studios, stuntmen, musicians, singers and other artistes are also required if more films are to be made in the state.

AP State Film, Television and Theatre Development Corporation’s former chairman Ambica Krishna said, “We managed to persuade 14 top film stars in Tollywood to fix shooting schedules for at least 10 days each in the state so that it becomes a continuous exercise where shooting of films takes place on a regular basis. Moreover, as these stars hail from AP, they have the social responsibility of promoting the film industry in the state. They should promote the Telugu film industry both in AP and TS equally so that both states get the benefit in terms of revenue, besides name and fame.”

AP Film Development Corporation has identified nearly 300 acres in Visakhapatnam and has offered 20 acres of land to actor N.Balakrishna and 26 acres to Chennai-based AVM Production at `50 lakh per acre to construct film studios.

Several applications seeking allotment of land for developing infrastructure for production of films are in the pipeline.

The Telugu film industry is now awaiting the response from the new YSRC government as to what measures it will initiate to promote the film industry in AP.


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