Biggies eclipse small fries; digital podium bails latter out

Chennai, Aug 23 (IANS) From being overshadowed to pushed back, small-budget Telugu films are fighting all odds to reach theatres. Not ready to take the bullying anymore, now the makers of such movies are opting for online release to find viewers.

"It's becoming extremely challenging for new filmmakers and low-budget films to get a decent theatrical release. Most filmmakers are looking for other options of taking their film to the audience. One such medium is online screening," said director Ramaraju, who couldn't even find a handful of theatres to release his "Mallela Theeram Lo Sirimalle Puvvu".

Veteran Telugu filmmaker Dasari Narayana Rao is saddened by the state of low-budget Telugu films, which are struggling to release amidst the constant shuffling of release dates of several big-budget star-studded films.

"It's a sad state to see several small films struggling to get even a decent number of theatres for release. I never imagined I would see such a situation in the industry, which promises a place for everybody. I hope we pass through this phase as quickly as possible," Dasari told IANS.

As many as half a dozen low-budget Telugu films had to stall their release when the release of big-budget films "Yevadu" and "Attarintiki Daaredhi" was delayed due to the political climate in Andhra Pradesh.

Ram Charan-starrer "Yevadu", which was earlier scheduled to release July 31, was later pushed to Aug 31. Now, the film will come out Oct 10.

Likewise, Pawan Kalyan-starrer "Attarintiki Daaredhi" was originally scheduled to release Aug 9, but it has now been pushed to a further unknown date.

"There were as many as 10 low-budget Telugu films scheduled to release in August, but only two or three managed to find screens due to the change in the release of big films, which get an undisrupted run of at least two weeks in cinemas. And usually during this period, no small films are entertained," a leading producer told IANS on condition of anonymity.

"Even if a small film manages to release with biggies, it most likely goes unnoticed. However, if the low-budget flick is exceptionally good, like recently released 'Prema Katha Chitram', then it might draw some eyeballs," he added.

Meanwhile, in September too, three big-budget Telugu films - Nagarjuna's "Bhai", Ram-Charan's "Thoofan" and Junior NTR's "Ramayya Vasthavayya", are lined up, posing a threat to several small fries.

But the filmmakers are not sitting and twiddling their thumbs while waiting for release option. They are using the sites like Zingreel and Yupp TV to showcase their movies.

"In the last one month, five to six Telugu films have registered for online screening on sites such as Zingreel and Yupp TV. How else can we take our films to the audience because we seldom get screens for our films," said Ramaraju.


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