Film industry in new A.P. needs cuts, of the tax kind

 thehindu.com  09/13/2019 19:25:50 

Here are some hard facts for doubting Thomases. Shooting films in Andhra Pradesh is much cheaper compared to neighbouring States, given the affordable cost of junior artistes, dubbing facilities and numerous picturesque locations, according to president of A.P. State Film Chamber of Commerce Madhu Mohan Krishna Ambati.

Mr. Ambati wants the government to consider tax breaks to encourage growth of the industry in the State. For the film industry to thrive in the new State, the government should go beyond the current 10 lakh subsidy per film and should give tax exemptions. Such a move will encourage producers to make more movies in Andhra Pradesh, Mr. Ambati said.

Accessible, affordable

Dispelling notions of producers in Hyderabad that A.P. does not have a film ecosystem, and that there is a scarcity of actors, Mr. Ambati clarified that the State has a bunch of studios with modern equipment in Guntur, Krishna and Visakhapatnam to make full length feature films, and there is no dearth of the much-needed dubbing and junior artistes.

In fact, the cost of hiring dubbing and junior artistes is one-fourth of what it is in Hyderabad or elsewhere. We have 150 dubbing artistes working seamlessly at the 87-acre customised film and dubbing studio in the past two-and-a- half years here in Happy Resorts in Mangalagiri. More members are joining in the junior artistes associations in Krishna and Guntur districts every year, he explained. Sadly, some senior actors who are predominantly from this region are loathe to shooting here, he rued.

Locations galore

The State is gifted with picturesque locations spread across 13 districts and shooting in these live locations add a lot of value to the story on screen according to Mr. Ambati. Beaches in Visakhapatnam, river front locations in East, West, Krishna, Guntur and Prakasam districts, Kondapalli and Kondaveedu forts, Bhavani Island, etc. in the capital city are among few locations you can pick from. We should remember that most of the Telugu blockbusters are shot in coastal Andhra, he said. This apart, most of the top film actors and a sizeable chunk of people associated with Tollywood have originated from these coastal districts, he added.

Vijayawada heat a ruse

Mr. Ambati ridiculed some actors complaints about Vijayawadas notorious summer heat which apparently repels them from shooting here.

The icons of Telugu film industry worked in Chennai which is equally hot and humid. In the age of air-conditioned buses and caravans, such an argument doesnt hold water. It just needs commitment on the part of actors hailing from this place. Interests apart, this place is destined to do good as far as the industry growth is concerned, Mr. Ambati summed up.

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