Sunday, March 28, 2010

Telugu film industry hit by Telangana stir

Telugu film industry hit by Telangana stir --- Postponement of releases, rescheduling of shootings is costing the industry Rs7 crore on a daily basis.

Last year it was the economic slowdown, the slump in real estate and piracy that laid the Telugu film industry low.This year, it is the ongoing political movements for and against the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh that is wreaking havoc on the industry, bigger than Bollywood in terms of number of releases and second only to it in terms of business.

For the film industry, the move to create a separate state, Telangana, from Andhra Pradesh, couldn’t have come at a worse time. The industry saw only 130 releases last year (of movies made in Telugu and not dubbed into it) as compared with at least 200 in 2008. And of this, only 12 movies did well.

Of the 105 movies dubbed from other languages (including English) and released last year, only around 10 did well.

“The drastic fall in number of successful movies last year had a chain effect on the entire film industry, from producers to distributors to exhibitors all of them suffering huge losses,” says T. Prasanna Kumar, secretary of Telugu Film Producers’ Council, an industry body.

And the year has started off with pro-Telangana agitators targeting actors and others associated with the film industry, attacking shooting crews, vandalizing sets, even stalling the screening of movies in the region, comprising 10 districts, including state capital Hyderabad.

The result could be another year of losses for an industry that directly and indirectly, serves as the means of livelihood of over one million people in the state. K.C. Sekhar Babu, a film producer and secretary of the Andhra Pradesh Chamber of Commerce, says: “We are losing Rs7 crore daily owing to issues such as postponement of releases and rescheduling of shootings.”

Andhra Pradesh has the highest number of cinema halls in the country, around 2,800 across the three regions of the state, of which Telangana alone accounts for around 800, which contribute approximately 40% of total box-office collections, says Mareddi Vijayender Reddy, president of the Telangana Film Chamber of Commerce, another industry body.

Pro-Telangana agitators, led by Kavitha, daughter of Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) president K. Chandrasekhar Rao, say that they are targeting only those actors and producers who are either directly or indirectly associated with supporters of a united Andhra Pradesh.

That covers several larger-than-life actors and producers many of whom had releases lined up for Christmas or Sankranthi (the harvest festival). Typically, movies of top heroes are released during the festive and holiday seasons, mostly during Christmas and Sankranthi—box-office takings in this period contribute up to 30-40% of annual collections.

The agitation has forced film-makers to postpone these releases, says Prasanna Kumar.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Vijayashanti asks Chiranjeevi to buzz off from Hyderabad.

Vijayashanti asks Chiranjeevi to buzz off from Hyderabad.

It’s a cine story that went awry. Former Tollywood actor Vijayashanti now a TRS Lok Sabha MP on Thursday asked Chiranjeevi, opposite whom she has acted in many hit films, to buzz off from Hyderabad and shift to the Andhra region.

“Chiranjeevi is opposing the creation of Telangana, he has no moral right to stay in Hyderabad. If he visits this region in future, he will face the ire of the Telangana people,” Vijayshanti nicknamed ‘Lady Amitabh’ during her acting days ranted at a press conference.The latest cause for the ire: Chiranjeevi and his Prajarajyam party opposed the resolution passed in the state assembly on Thursday seeking to make Hyderabad a “part of the sixth zone” for police transfers and appointments.

The resolution came up because the Supreme Court had early this week hearing a case on the matter declared that Hyderabad was a free zone. This means anyone from the state can get employment here for the positions under contention and people from other regions working here could continue doing so.

The Chiranjeevi family — which is not only into acting but also into film production — has had a run-in with the TRS on the Telangana issue for long and supporters of the regional party disrupting the shooting and screening of films starring Allu Arjun, son of Chiranjeevi’s brother-in-law and PRP leader Allu Arvind.

The TRS had also undertaken a campaign in the region against the sale of a soft drink which is being endorsed by Chiranjeevi’s son Ram Charan Teja. Chiranjeevi’s Prajarajyam is the only political party to take a clear stand against creation of Telangana.

TRS going all out to clinch victory in by polls

TRS going all out to clinch victory in by polls

The Telangana Rashtra Samiti (TRS) is leaving no stone unturned in its bid to clinch victory in the bypolls for Siddipet Assembly segment.Even before there is clarity on whether the rival parites would field their candidates for the polls in the segment, TRS candidate and former MLA T Harish Rao is busy implementing a two-pronged strategy to secure a thumping win.

Rao wants both the Congress and the TDP to contest the polls but ensure that the candidates lose their deposits and thereby prove that the Telangana sentiment is strong.Apart from making the 86 villages in the constituency adopt unanimous resolution that they would vote only for Harish Rao, he is also trying to attract leaders of rival parties in the villages to join the TRS.

Rao had already seen to it that villagers of Tornala and Irukod in Siddipet mandal and Gatlamalya and Palakula in Nanganoor mandals took resolutions that they would cast their valuable votes only to Harish Rao who had quit his post for the cause of Telangana. The enthusiastic villagers even gave some money to the party asking Rao to use it for his campaign.

The people in the above four villages had accorded a warm welcome to the TRS leader during his visit earlier. The party leaders are making all attempts to ensure that 25 per cent of the villages in the constituency adopt unanimous resolutions on voting to Rao, by the time the notification for the bypolls is out.

TDP leaders of Chinnagundavelli in Siddipet mandal had already resigned from the party primary membership and joined the TRS. The village leaders said they were quitting the party as their chief N Chandrababu Naidu had not announced his support to Telangana and their MLAs have not submitted their resignations for the cause of separate State.

The TRS functionaries and leaders are trying to emulate the same tactics in other villages. Harish Rao who had begun his political career with the 2004 bypolls won with a majority of 24,000 votes despite the presence of a strong rival. He is the nephew of TRS chief K Chandrashekar Rao.Since then he has been mingling with the people and submitted his resignation in 2008, in accordance with the party chief’s orders. However, he was re-elected in the bypolls with a majority of 58,953 votes — more than the 57,000 vote majority achieved by his uncle.

The Congress and TDP leaders lost their deposits in this bypoll. In 2009, Harish Rao won with a majority of 64,014 votes against his Congress rival.

Source : ExpressBuzz