Not many film shootings happening in Andhra
- Govt gives permission for shooting free of cost
- A meeting of industry majors including Chiranjeevi scheduled for tomorrow
Amaravati: Andhra Pradesh, which has an abundance of film-goers with more than 1,100 theatres capable of contributing about 60 per cent of the total revenue to the film industry, has so far failed to attract the attention of the industry.
After the bifurcation of the State in 2014, the film industry has been shying away from conducting shootings in the State. The government had rolled out a red-carpet to welcome the industry with several sops.
The Government provided online permission for shooting films free of cost, whereas the neighbouring Telangana, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka charge for shootings. The government has been providing refunds of GST for low-budget films.
Still producers were not coming forward for shooting here though several picturesque locations are available and have become favourite spots for Tamil and Kannada film shootings. Not just that the government even exempted payment of power bills for theatres for three months and offered deferred payment for six months in view of the prevailing Covid pandemic.
Though majority of the producers are from the Andhra region they are all settled in Hyderabad and as such the revenue is going to the Telangana State, experts feel. If shootings begin in Andhra, it would not only generate good revenue for the government but would also provide indirect employment to many.
In view of this situation, Chief Minister Y S Jagan Mohan Reddy has invited the bigwigs of the film industry for a detailed discussion on the measures that need to be taken to see that the State becomes a hub for film shootings.
The issue of the State Government launching online sale of cinema tickets is also likely to be discussed.As a precursor, Minister for Information and Public Relations Perni Venkatramaiah held a meeting with film distributors recently and explored the possibility of the government starting online sale of film tickets. This issue would be discussed with the industry majors on Monday which would include Mega Star Chiranjeevi.
Referring to criticism that there could be delay in remittance of money to respective theatres, the minister said that there would be a payment gateway through which the payment would be transferred immediately to the theatres.
Meanwhile, a Telugu Film chamber office-bearer said unless normalcy was restored by completely lifting Covid restrictions and government allows cent per cent occupancy in theatres, it would be hard to survive. Another proposal that may be discussed is about the possibility of introducing awards for the films produced in the State.