World news – Tollywood and Kollywood: The Story of Two Industries


It wasn’t until the late 80s and early 90s that the Tollywood film industry shifted from Madras to Hyderabad.

Published: March 22, 2021, 10:34 am |

Last updated: March 22, 2021 10:34 am

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There was a time when the Telugu film industry was based out of Madras. Nagireddy (Vijaya Vauhini Studios, where the Forum Mall now stands) and LV Prasad (Prasad Film Labs and the Film Institute) made films with the same enthusiasm as SS Vasan (Gemini Studios) and AV Meiyappa Chettiar (AVM Studios).

Social dramas, mythological films, larger-than-life sagas, and hero-centered films were on their way. New genres were created, new trends set and new heroes born. These were the heroes who would rule both Tamil and Telugu for the decades that followed.

It wasn’t until the late 80s and early 90s that the Telugu film industry shifted to Hyderabad. That’s why I never wonder when a Telugu film (even during COVID times) is shown to overcrowded houses in Chennai.

The latest Telugu film, Jathi Ratnalu with Navin Polishetty, testifies to this long legacy and love for Cinema between the Tamil and Telugu industries as well as the audience.

In the last five months after the lockdown, Telugu cinema has seen four legitimate blockbusters: Krack (Ravi Teja), Uppena (Vijay Sethupathi in a cameo with newcomers ), Nandhi (Allari Naresh and Varalaxmi Sarathkumar) and now Jathi Ratnalu.

Three of these four films do not play big stars and were nonetheless well received. Pitta Kathalu on Netflix is ​​also collecting more numbers. It clearly shows that the audience’s love for the films – that is the demand – matches the supply.

Films big and small are celebrated equally, with producers and filmmakers sharing a bonhomie for films on the big and small budget that improves the movie’s business and release plans.

The great heroes with their individual markets are well chalked up in their zones. The directors work with the stars like participants in a musical chair in their turn, and then the film is released amidst fanfare and it is up to the audience to make this film a hit or a flop.

The word « flop » is never used loosely in the Telugu film industry. They see every film as a success in relation to the investment in the film. This is why the industry is thriving.

As a moviegoer, you may be wondering why you need to know and understand how an industry works when only the quality or lack of the movie should matter to our wallets and senses. However, it’s important to get to the core of the supply chain to understand why we get the content we get.

When a Vijay makes a movie like Master, a departure from its norm, it’s important to get it to recognize and promote … especially if it is the only Tamil film that has reopened the theater business on a large scale. It is important to realize that a producer is the headliner of this supply chain who needs to be rewarded just as much as a hero or director.

During the COVID era, it is important that the Tamil film industry come together and each other in the making and supports the release of films.

Where one industry sees a bleak time for the theater business, another (Telugu industry) sees opportunities. It is important to ensure the good release of films like Karnan, Jagame Thandhiram (both with Dhanush) and Sulthan (Karthi) and to usher in the season of blockbusters in Tamil cinema. The same applies to films with a small and medium budget.

Whether the demarcation between OTT and theater films will gain ground or not remains to be seen. At the moment, however, it is important to do our best in both directions.

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