Guest Article by vijay srinivasan from INDIA – Telugu cinema at a glance

Published on May 04 2013 // Filmmaking


my-pic-vijayGuest Article  ” TELUGU CINEMA AT A GLANCE ”  by   Vijay srinivasan from INDIA   , Senior lecturer  at Andhra Loyola College  , Visual Communication Department .

Telugu cinema has started its journey from the year 1912 before the country got its independence. Even though it started its journey in the year 1912 its first production of the film titled Bhisma Pratighna” was released in the year 1921 which was directed by “Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu” and his son “R. S. Prakash” as a result of his contribution to telugu cinema and to promote films “Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu” is regarded as the “father of Telugu Cinema”, who was concerned in many aspects of Indian cinemas history.

Till the year 1930 Telugu films were silent (mookie) films where expressions of the actors play a very important role and there will be no sound heard.

As a part of silent era in 1917, “PR Nataraj” produced a silent film, ‘Keechakavadha‘. And also he made ‘Draupadi Vastrapaharanam’. “Raju Modaliar” and “Jeevaratnam” who acted in the film ‘Keechakavadha‘ were said to be figured as the first actor and actress of South Indian cinema.

In the year 1931 15 September, the first Telugu film with audible dialogue, Bhakta Prahlada”, was produced by H.M. Reddy. This marked the era of sound era in Telugu cinema.

The film “Lavakusa which was directed by C. Pullaiah in the year 1934 was the first industry commercial success and attracted exceptional number of viewers to theatres and boosts the young industry into mainstream culture. And in that same year the first film made in Telugu’s own studio titled “Vel Studios” was ‘Sita Kalyanam‘ where the studio is constructed in guindy, madras by “PV Das” of Machilipatnam, Andhra Pradesh.

In the year 1936, “Dr PV Pathi” has made a comedy ‘Comedy in Paris’, which was considered as the first documentary film made by a Telugu man in a foreign land  also same year Pathi made first commentary oriented educational film which was a thousand feet film where he  added graphs and maps as part of the documentary.

In the same year 1936, the first film studio in South India, named ‘Durga Cinetone‘ was built by “Nidamarthi Surayya” in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh. And also till 1936 majority themes of the films will be focussed on the mythological issues and themes and from the year 1936 films focusing on social issues, was released. Its success prompted the production of society oriented films such as 1939’s Vandemataram” and Maala Pilla”. Touching on societal problems like the status of Untouchables and the practice of giving dowry. With this period veteran actor “Akkineni Nageswara Rao” started his acting debut in the year 1944 and in the year 1949 “Nandamuri Taraka Ramarao” started his film career, which he played a small role as a police sub-inspector in the movie “Mana Desam “.

Even though, NTR is elder to ANR. ANR entered cinema before NTR and they both started star era of Telugu cinema with their own individual approach and contribution they become as the ‘two eyes of Telugu cinema’ and contributed greatly to the golden era of Telugu cinema.

Later, the outbreak of World War II and the following resource insufficiency caused the British Raj to force a limit on the use of filmstrip in 1943.As a result, the number of films produced during the war was significantly lower than in previous years. However, before the ban, an important shift occurred in the industry: Independent studios formed, actors and actresses were signed to contracts limiting whom they could work for, and films moved from social themes to folklore tradition.

After the coming of independence, rich peasants, landlords and the emerging capitalist farmers began to invest on a wider scale, rather than simply consuming surpluses.

The intimacy between this class and the cinema in Andhra Pradesh has been well established by commentators.

Adurti Subba Rao could be considered as the starting point for the new direction in the telugu film industry. His movies like tenemanasulu, kannemanasulu brought new faces into the industry and moved away from the established artists. Their success helped others to go for new artists, director’s et al. He was an expert in making a grosser from a simple story line with some excellent scores, and tight screenplay.

Now it has become as one of the largest producers of folklore, historical, fantasy and mythological films. Donga Ramudu directed by K. V. Reddy was archived in the curriculum of the Film and Television Institute of India.

The Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce has been established in the year 1979 in Hyderabad, the capital city of Andhra Pradesh, with a view to facilitate services to all sections of film industry.

Sankarabharanam won the Prize of the Public at the Besancon Film Festival of France in the year 1981. Seeta Kalyanam got critical acclaim at the BFI London Film Festival and Chicago International Film Festival.

Swati Mutyam (1986) is the only Telugu film to be sent by India as its official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film for the Academy Awards. Swati Mutyam and Sagara Sangamam got critical acclaim at Asia Pacific Film Festival.

Industry spreaded its wings and also developed its technical expertise and become as one of the best film industry and which produces high budget commercial films in India and becoming a huge market for foreign films also and The Telugu movie industry also embraces the Guinness World Record for being the largest film production Studio in the entire world.

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