'Strict policies needed to safeguard Telugu industry'

Chennai, Aug 5 (IANS) Noted Telugu filmmaker Thammareddy Bharadwaj believes the formation of Telangana won't have any impact on the Telugu film industry if strict policies are taken into consideration and implemented right away.

"I don't think the division of the state will have any impact. Hyderabad is home to the Telugu film industry since the 1990s and as long as strict policies are in place, I don't see the need to worry. Problems would arise only if the industry is shifted out of Hyderabad," Bharadwaj told IANS.

He, however, said that shooting in parts of Andhra Pradesh, which will now be part of Telangana, will be challenging.

"While most Telugu films are shot in the studios in Hyderabad, some of them are shot in other parts of the state that will now constitute Telangana. It will be difficult to shoot films in these places hereafter as there might be a process to take permission in advance," he said.

After the announcement July 30 of a separate state of Telangana being formed, members from the industry have expressed interest to set up a separate film committee called Telangana Cinema Force.

"There will be challenges only if the film industry is moved out of Hyderabad. As of now, there are no plans to shift the industry to any new place. It's too early to comment about the shifting of the industry," Bharadwaj said.

Revision of taxes and incentives might effect filmmakers, he said.

"If the government exempts entertainment tax, then filmmakers might go to the state that offers tax exemption. If one state offers tax concessions, while the other doesn't, then filmmakers are likely to shoot in the state that offers tax exemption," he said.

"Entertainment tax exemption means lot of money is saved. Filmmakers would obviously be interested in making films in the state that offers leeway on tax," he added.

Bharadwaj doesn't see the option of shifting the film industry as it will be a painful process of resetting.

"Hyderabad has the entire infrastructure - from studios to labs to even cinema halls. Shifting the industry from here to some new place is not feasible. It will be a painful process of starting from scratch and where will the funds come from," he said.


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