Work on Telugu films with Rs 600 Cr investment stalled due to COVID-19 lockdown
Chiranjeevi starrer 'Aacharya' and 'Baahubali'maker SS Rajamoulis 'RRR' are among the movies whoseproduction has been suspended in various stages.
Describing it as a big blow to the industry,senior producer and Ramanaidu Studios owner D Suresh saidthough all his films are insured to cover delay in production,he is not sure whether this pandemic would be accepted by theinsurance companies for staking any claim.
"We are not in a position to estimate the lossesto the Telugu film industry due to lockdown.
Because we have no clear picture as to when theproductions will be resumed, when the movies will be taken tomasses.
Currently, guessing the future of the film industryis million dollar questions," Kalyan told .
According to him, the Telugu film industry, knownas "Tollywood", makes nearly 200 movies every year and out ofwhich about seven per cent movies make good profit.
Kalyan said out of the 200 films, about 60 arebudgeted at Rs 3 crore and below and movies like Baahubali andRRR have changed the landscape of the industry.
"About 50 movies including 15 to 20 big ticketones are currently under various stages of production.
These movies have already seen investments to thetune of Rs 600 to Rs 700 crore.We do not know when theproduction would resume," he said.
Suresh anticipates the uncertainty would continuefor some more time even if the lockdown is lifted as it is notclear when the movie screens will be thrown open for thepublic.
"So it could be as good as the complete financialyear being washed off for the film calendar.The loss would bequite substantial," Suresh said.
As of now four of Suresh's movies are currentlyin various stages of production and three are ready to go onfloor.
He said though he has insurance coverage for hismovies he was not sure if the pandemic clause can beapplicable for loss caused due to the delay in production.
"We have never faced this kind of situation inthe past.We do not know how the insurance companies wouldreact if we make a claim," he added.
The ace producer said though banks have announceda three month moratorium on repayment of loans, it needs to beextended as it takes a longer period for the situation tobecome normal.
Veteran producer and directorTammareddyBharadwaj,who is regarded as the leaderof the semi-skilledand skilled workers of theindustry, said the situation maypush about eight thousand people of different skill sets whodepend on movie making to lose their livelihood.
"Situation is so fluid that nobody could guesswhat is going to happen post-lockdown.
At least 50 per cent of the 16,000 workforce of theTelugu film industry may have to look out for other jobs,"Bharadwaj said.Pulagam Chinnarayana, a film critic, saidpost-lockdown, the industry may witness sea changes withimposition of restrictions at public places including movietheatres and at outdoor shoots resulting in loss of employmentfor many. GDK BNWELCOME BNWELCOME
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