Telugu film industry gears up for resumption of shooting from 15 July after celebs meet YS Jagan Mohan Reddy

The chief minister of Andhra Pradesh has assured to allot 300 acres of land in Visakhapatnam for the Telugu film industry.

FP Staff June 10, 2020 09:42:07 IST
Telugu film industry gears up for resumption of shooting from 15 July after celebs meet YS Jagan Mohan Reddy

Extending support to the Telugu Film Industry (TFI), Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jaganmohan Reddy on Tuesday agreed to resume film shooting in the state from 15 July.

A delegation of the TFI, including superstars Chiranjeevi, Nagarjuna, producers D Suresh Babu, Dil Raju, C Kalyan, and directors Trivikram Srinivas, SS Rajamouli had reached Amaravati in a special flight from Hyderabad for meeting the CM at his residence earlier on Tuesday.

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Telegu Film personalities thank CM for resumption of film shooting

Tollywood megastar Chiranjeevi addressed the media after the meeting with the CM, and expressed gratitude saying that the chief minister has agreed to allow shooting in the state from 15 July. The CM also assured to allot 300 acres of land in Visakhapatnam for the industry, the actor added.

"The Chief Minister assured to provide lands in Vizag for the film industry, for setting up of studios and other production facilities working from the state," said the Andhra Pradesh Information and Public Relations minister Perni Nani.

"The government also agreed to provide land for housing plots for the celebrities who wish to settle in Vizag", the minister added.

The industry has been shuttered for over two months owing to the health concerns around the coronavirus crisis, and the nationwide lockdown.

Although TFI is based in Hyderabad, most of the outdoor shootings take place in the Andhra region. After bifurcation of the state, the base of TFI remained in Hyderabad itself. This also marks the first delegation meeting of Tollywood with Reddy ever since he took charge of the state.

Multiple meetings with Telugu state governments hint at lack of unity in Telugu film industry

Though there are several official fora for different crafts of Tollywood, there was a big head, who used to resolve most of the grievances. Multi-faceted filmmaker, actor, writer Dasari Narayana Rao used to play the big brother role.

Despite the political differences, all used to respect him and obey his instructions. After his demise, the TFI has gone wary with the lack of such a personality. After a long gap, Chiranjeevi is trying to step into that position.

After a brief political stint and central ministerial berth for more than one-and-a-half years, Chiranjeevi has put his political aspirations aside. But now he has started picking the role of the elder in the Tollywood family.

While most of the industry is okay with that, there is some opposition too. Chiranjeevi led a few industry people to meetings with Telangana labour minister, and even the chief minister. That did not go well with Balakrishna, son of Late NT Ramarao, and actor contemporary to Chiranjeevi.

He was furious about not being invited for meeting with KCR. Balakrishna made severe allegations towards the Chiranjeevi-led group meeting with KCR, that they are trying for land grabbing. Those remarks did not go well with Chiru's fans as well as his brother Nagababu.

Nagababu, brother of Chiranjeevi, gave a hard-hitting retort to Balakrishna through a video on his YouTube channel. Nagababu demanded Balakrishna to apologise to CM KCR and the Telangana government. He added it will be quite "clear who grabbed lands, if we open our mouths," he commented. That was a straight reference to Balakrishna's brother-in-law and former Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu.

Producer C Kalyan, considered to be close to Balakrishna , tried to pacify the issue. Kalyan tried to convince the media that Balakrishna was not taking a dig at any individual. Fans of both the heroes have literally shaken the social media platforms, with their comments and trolls.

Then the Tollywood fraternity planned to meet with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Jagan too. In fact, Tollywood had not maintained any relationship with Jagan, barring a few actors, who personally have YSRCP links. Nobody even greeted Jagan after he became the CM.

It is a surprise move that a Tollywood delegation planned to meet YS Jagan but again, it is Chiranjeevi who initiated this meeting. Chiru, who made good offices with Jagan in October last year, took forward the meeting. Interestingly, this time, Balakrishna is invited.

This is a catch-22 situation for Balakrishna. Now, he cannot claim he is not invited. And he cannot attend as he is a Telugu Desam Party MLA, the party arch-rival to YSRCP.

Another interesting observation is that YS Jagan was a hardcore fan of Balakrishna in his prime youth. He was said to be an honorary president to Balakrishna fans association in those days. Reportedly, that was the reason late CM YS Rajasekhar Reddy had saved Balakrishna from a shootout case in 2004. Balakrishna, who turns 60 on 10 June, took the same as an excuse. He said he has to attend some poojas and havans so he won't attend the meeting with YS Jagan.

This entire episode makes a few things clear. That the unity in the industry is a myth. Caste equations still play a big role in Tollywood. Political affiliations are predominant. And, on the top of it all, the one in power is the most wanted for most of them, be it KCR or Jagan.

(With inputs from Asian News International)

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