Mahanati team declines AP govt’s tax exemption, want the money to be used for state development

Haricharan Pudipeddi

May,30 2018 12:26:49 IST

Nag Ashwin’s Mahanati, the biopic on legendary south actress Savitri, has emerged as one of the biggest blockbusters of this year. The film, which narrates the rise and fall of the veteran star, has been celebrated by audiences and critics alike. At the box-office, the film continues its golden run with over Rs. 50 crore in earnings and still counting. Keerthy Suresh played the titular role and her performance as Savitri won audiences over everywhere.

Last week, the entire team of Mahanati was invited to the Secretariat and felicitated by the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, N Chandra Babu Naidu, who was moved by the film. The makers of the film were offered tax exemption which they apparently declined. Explaining the reason behind not accepting tax exemption from the state government, Mahanati producer Priyanka Dutt told Firstpost that it was a decision taken by her father. Priyanka is the daughter of well-known Telugu producer Aswini Dutt, who has produced several popular films over the years.

A still from Mahanati/Image from YouTube.

A still from Mahanati/Image from YouTube.

“We were so honoured to be invited by the Chief Minister. He had decorated his party office with our film posters and invited people over and spoke so well. He told us he hardly watches movies. But he watched and loved Mahanati, and that meant a lot to us. The kind of love he showered upon us was unprecedented. He even organised a special screening of the film for the members of his cabinet. He offered us tax exemption but my father was against the idea as he felt the tax could be used for development in the state," said Priyanka.

Also read:  Rangasthalam, Bharat Ane Nenu, Naa Peru Surya and Mahanati: Telugu filmdom strikes gold at box-office this summer

Buoyed by the response for the film and her performance, Keerthy Suresh told Firstpost that the success has made her more responsible. “I’m thrilled with the overall response. However, I also feel I have an added responsibility to my future projects. The fact that this a woman-centric film and it has been doing so well at the box-office has made me really proud," she said. Keerthy also denied that she has been approached for a biopic on late actress and former Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, J Jayalalithaa.

Mahanati, which also stars Samantha Akkineni, Vijay Deverakonda, Dulquer Salmaan, Rajendra Prasad and Shalini Pandey among others in key roles, is still running to packed houses in Telugu states as well in a few screens in other states. Dulquer played Gemini Ganesan in the film, which was dubbed and released in Tamil as Nadigayar Thilagam.

Being a biopic, a genre so rare in Tollywood, it’s an accomplishment that Mahanati stirred up a box-office storm. In its opening weekend, the film grossed over Rs. 20 crore worldwide, leaving the trade in awe. In the US, the film has already grossed over $2.5 million and still counting.

Also read: Why the box office success of Mahanati is crucial for South film industry: Oviya, Samantha, Trisha now helming women-led projects

Sandeep of Nirvana Cinemas, the overseas distributor of the film, is hopeful the film will mint around $3 million in its entire run in the US. “We were confident the film will do well. Lately, if you look at films that have done well in the US, they’ve all been good content-wise. Even Rangasthalam worked because of content. Be it Pellichoopulu, Arjun Reddy or Awe, well made content-rich films are being welcomed big time in the US. Mahanati is the latest addition to that list,” Sandeep told Firstpost.

Updated Date: May 31, 2018 12:19 PM