Politics in tinsel town
Having served his one-year term as president of the Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce, Producer D Suresh Babu will be re-contesting for the same post again. When he assumed the mantle of the president last year, he had taken an oath to give due attention to all the long-standing problems faced by the Telugu film industry and vowed to find solutions for the same.
Now, back in the fray with a new mindset and motivated to encourage active members in the society, Suresh Babu says, “State bodies have to be young and energetic. Today, of the 1000 producers, over 750 are very inactive and have no interest in making films. They produce a couple of films and vanish. We don’t just need active producers, we also need active distributors, studio owners and exhibitors. We are all businessmen and we have to do good business.”
Upset with the recent developments on the whole “male chauvinism” issue, the incumbent says, “I think the election is very insignificant and all we have to bother about here is not just about making money or getting things done. It is about evolving with time and bringing in fresh ideas, which are lucrative at the same time.”
And how strong are his chances this time at the election? He quickly replies, “I am not even looking forward to becoming the president again. I completely believe there should be a change every few years as the chamber is not anybody’s private property. When new people come in with fresh ideas and plans, it is always good for the chamber. I think, the amount of interest people are taking in this election, they should rather invest it in doing something new and beneficial for the industry.”
He also believes, “people who have not made films in the last three years should not be allowed to vote or contest. For many producers, films are only about money, but for me it’s about implementing new subjects in movies. I want to bring in the latest technicians and equipment from all across the world.”
He regrets that a lot of lethargy has been accumulating in the chamber and the body has been answering to a lot of people, who do not need to be given an explanation. “There are many posts with no name or definition, and some are getting things done their way,” he says.
Rajashekar and Jeevitha Rajashekar are perhaps one couple who are always in the news for all kinds of reasons. Be it politics, or films. Creating a buzz recently at one of the APFCC meetings was actor Jeevitha Rajashekar. And why? Because she filed a nomination for the post of an executive member at the chamber and supposedly, some of her fellow producers “advised” her not to contest the elections.
Explaining her side of the story, the actor, director, producer and politician says, “I don’t know what the cause was. Neither was I present at any of the meetings nor did I talk about this to anybody. I have no clue how the issue cropped up! It’s true that someone had called me and asked me not to contest this time. I told them I needed time to think it over and then, I finally decided to go ahead with the elections.”
In an interview with City Express, she explained, “people told me that there was a discussion over this as I was the only female member. I do not exactly know who was talking about this.” And if elected, where does she see herself on the board? “Well, I am not too sure of that yet. I am ready for any active role and will take up anything with equal zeal.” When asked if she is taking sides with producer Tamma Reddy Bharadwaj, she curtly replies, “Wait for the election. I cannot say anything about it.” She even refuses to comment anything about the current president Suresh Babu.
Ask her why she wants to be a part of the chamber, all of a sudden, she replies, “I want to be a part of the executive committee and get into the system to understand it well. The industry has been facing a lot of problems, and they haven’t been looked into in detail.” Elabortaing further, she says, “There are no permanent solutions for problems like the recent tax hikes, theatres, censor and many more. Some things have to be sorted out. If there is anything wrong, I want to talk about it and strive to achieve it. I don’t want to be ignorant and I want the truth to prevail.” Emphasising on the need to bring in changes in Tollywood, she adds, “We have to change with the times and change rules accordingly. Like not demarcate a set of films and also go a little easy on the content in the movies.”