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Bitter truths from the festival season

Monday, November 22, 2004 • Tamil Comments
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Festivals are usually about sweet. But not quite for Tollywood.

The beleaguered industry has been left licking some sharp wounds opened up in the last few weeks.

The bitter truth is that there has been no major hit, including Shankardada MBBS, in the last two months or so. Only the unpretentious Yuvasena and Anand have managed to break even. The Diwali releases have been absolute duds.

Contrary to what the media says, the industry is caught in a huge debt trap as most of the money spent on films has gone down the drain.

Says a leading trade analyst in Hyderabad: "Unless there are a couple of big hits, the industry is in for a major crisis".

You can already hear the alarm bells ringing. Last week there was no single new release. "This in itself tells a tale. It was the first time since several months that we have had no single new release," the analyst says.

There are several films that have been completed but waiting for distributors. The distributors are not ready to invest money blindly. "They are not for pumping in money just because the producer has in the film," he adds.

The rising production costs is one of the major problems. The producers say that unless the heroes cut down their remuneration, things won't improve. "The industry can't afford over Rs. one crore remuneration for a single hero. But the problem is most of them are in that slot. The other problem is that these heroes after having made all the money here are investing it elsewhere. This is treason," a leading producer points out.

So the need of the hour is belt-tightening and cutting the flab.

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