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Currency crisis blips off small tolly flicks 

While the jury on whether the rich had been hit the most or the poor in the ongoing demonetisation movement is yet to be out, a consensus goes in favour of the small sections in Telugu film industry.

Published: 10th December 2016 09:56 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th December 2016 08:01 AM   |  A+A-

TELANGANA:  While the jury on whether the rich had been hit the most or the poor in the ongoing demonetisation movement is yet to be out, a consensus goes in favour of the small sections in Telugu film industry.


According to filmmakers, producers and industry insiders, while some 45 films have been put on hold due to the currency crisis, the new production houses are hesitant to start fresh projects until the situation stabilises.


“Only films that have completed shooting with their release dates nearing are considered. The smaller films have been badly affected. Everything is currently in pause mode because we depend on cash to make transactions and pay workers, spot boys, extras and so on,” explained Sai Rajesh, producer of a stalled film Kobbari Matta (coconut frond).


“After seven days of shooting, we have stopped the production. We could not pay the labourers as we were running short of cash,” he explained. Lack of commitment from distributors is a big reason for most producers refraining from releasing their movies at the moment. 


“Most distributors used to pay 70 per cent of the money in the form of unaccounted cash. After demonetisation, they are unwilling to pay us upfront. Most of them are willing to pay only a portion of it ahead of release, and are willing to share the profits afterwards. With this, producers will get money only if the film runs and that’s not an idea most people are comfortable with. The distributors are safe but the producers aren’t,” he added. While production houses have not faced much trouble, daily-wage workers on the sets are facing the brunt of demonetisation.


“There are people who depend on their wages to feed their families. They are in trouble due to delayed payments. However, people believe that this is a temporary setback which is a good thing in the long run,” said Vajpeye, a junior artiste. 


K Venkatesh, who works at Annapurna Studios, said: “If they don’t pay us, then where will we get the money to commute? How will I manage my family if I don’t go to work?” 


D Suresh Babu, a leading producer and owner of Suresh Productions, said: “Payments are being made through cheques and online. People have to trust each other for smooth productions.” Producers also highlighted the benefits of demonetisation, and claimed that this move will help to clean up the industry. 



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