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Last Updated: May 15, 2007 - 2:05:15 AM
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Telugu film industry, India's second biggest, turns 75
Jan 26, 2007 - 2:42:40 PM
Second only to Bollywood in terms of the number of films made, Tollywood makes about 150 films every year. The industry, which accounts for one percent of the state's GDP, registered a turnover of Rs.2.5 billion last year.

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[RxPG] Hyderabad, Jan 26 - The Telugu film industry, the second biggest film industry in the country after the Mumbai-based Hindi film industry, better known as Bollywood, turned 75 Friday.

The platinum jubilee celebrations kicked off here last night with Chief Minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy sounding the clapper board at a in the presence of some industry veterans.

Reddy also released a postal cover brought out by the department of posts marking the milestone reached by the film industry.

While the inaugural ceremony organised by the state government proved a damp squib due to the absence of top actors and actresses, the three-day celebrations, which is beginning late Friday, is expected to add glamour to the party.

Minister of State for Coal Dasari Narayan Rao, the eminent filmmaker who holds the Guinness World Records for directing the highest number of films in the world, superstars of yesteryears Krishna and actor Mohan Babu, who got the Padma Shri this year, were among a few veterans present on the occasion.

The chief minister promised to extend full support to the industry and referred to steps already taken by the government including removal of slab system in film theatres, prevent video piracy and allotment of land for setting up a film studio in Visakhapatnam.

Megastar Chiranjeevi, who is virtually ruling the industry for nearly two decades, will be the attraction of the celebrations by the industry along with Venkatesh, Nagarjuna, Mahesh Babu and several glamorous actresses.

An exhibition of photos and posters of movies made during the last 75 years has been organised as part of the celebrations, which will have three elements of music, dance and drama. The celebrations will showcase the evolution of Telugu cinema in the three areas.

Special seminars and workshops on filmmaking are also being held. Special movies will be screened to pay tribute to Telugu film greats including thespian N.T. Rama Rao, who also served as the state's chief minister.

The first Telugu film, 'Bhatka Prahalada', was made in 1931. It was directed by Hanumappa Muniappa Reddy. Most of the initial Telugu talkies released had mythological stories that drew inspiration from the vibrant Telugu drama and stage industry.

Tollywood, as the Telugu film industry is often called, moved from Kolkata to Rajahmundry in 1936-37, but soon shifted to Madras - where it remained for decades.

The industry started shifting to Hyderabad in 1955 when Sarathi Studios was set up here. But it was only in mid 1990s that the entire Telugu movie-making business moved to Hyderabad. Even now, about 10 percent of the music for Telugu films is made in Chennai.

Second only to Bollywood in terms of the number of films made, Tollywood makes about 150 films every year. The industry, which accounts for one percent of the state's GDP, registered a turnover of Rs.2.5 billion last year.

However, video piracy poses the biggest threat to the industry and according to industry estimates, it is suffering Rs.1.5-Rs.2 billion loss every year.

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