Film producers in the two Telugu-speaking states — Andhra Pradesh and Telangana — have asked exhibitors to give preference to Telugu films in dubbed releases during festivals like Dussehra and Sankranti. In a statement shared by the Telugu Film Producers Council, the organization said that only “direct Telugu films” should be given priority in film festivals. The Pongal-Sankranti weekend of 2023 will see the release of two big Tamil films–Varisu and Thunivu–and fans are now worried about their fate. Also read: Telugu film producers will halt shooting from August 1 due to “increasing costs”.
A press release shared by the Telugu Film Producers Council said, “Considering the cost of Telugu film production, the welfare of the producers and saving the Telugu film industry, the Telugu Film Chamber of Commerce has in its Emergency Meeting passed a resolution dated 08.12.2019: “During Sankaranthi and Dassera festivals only live Telugu films should be given preference.”
The statement refers to a decision taken by the organization in 2019 and reiterates it by citing the statement of film producer Dil Raju. “In this regard, Sri Dil Raju, the current Vice President and Producer of Telugu Film Chamber has stated that in 2019 he has categorically announced through the media how we can give dubbed Telugu films in film festivals and therefore first priority. Direct Telugu films will be given screening in theaters and the rest will be given dubbed in festivals. It will be given to Telugu films,” the statement said.
The statement concludes with the body’s plea to cinema exhibitors in Telugu states. “Hence, Telugu Film Producers Council requests the exhibitors to always implement this decision: ‘During Sankranthi and Dassera festivals only live Telugu films should be given preference for screening in theaters and rest may be given to Telugu dubbed films.’
The Sankranti-Pongal weekend in January is now the first major festival in the state. The busy weekend will see Akhil Akkineni starrer Agent, Akhil Akkineni starrer Agent, Nandamuri Balakrishna starrer Veera Narsimha Reddy and Chiranjeevi starrer Waltair Veerayya in Telugu. However, the two films most likely to be affected by this approach are two Tamil films starring superstars and hoping to grab a share of the Telugu market. These are Vijay’s Varisu and Ajith Kumar’s Thunivu.
Prabhas’ Hindi film Adipurush has pushed back its release to June and thus has probably escaped a potential musical chairs competition for the weekend screens. The exhibitors, so far, have not responded to the producers’ request, so it remains to be seen how this development continues.
Topics to follow