Telugu cinema

Telugu cinema is the segment of Indian cinema dedicated to the production of motion pictures in the Telugu language, widely spoken in the states of Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. Telugu cinema is based in Film Nagar, a neighborhood of Hyderabad, India.[2] Since 1909, filmmaker Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu was involved in producing short films and travelling to different regions in Asia to promote film work. In 1921, he produced the silent film, Bhishma Pratigna.[3] He is cited as the father of Telugu cinema.[4][5][6]

Telugu cinema
Prasads Multiplex, Hyderabad
No. of screens2809 screens in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states of India[1]
  Per capita31 per million
Main distributorsArka Media Works
Suresh Productions
Sri Venkateswara Creations
Geetha Arts
14 Reels Entertainment
PVP Cinema
Prasad Art Pictures
Usha Kiron Movies
Vyjayanthi Movies
Annapurna Studios

In 1933, East India Film Company has produced its first Indian film, Savitri in Telugu. The film was based on a popular stage play by Mylavaram Bala Bharathi Samajam, directed by father of the "Telugu theatre Movement" Chittajallu Pullaiah and cast stage actors Vemuri Gaggaiah and Dasari Ramathilakam as "Yama" and "Savithri" respectively.[7] The film was shot with a budget of estimated 1 million (US$14,000) in Calcutta.[8] It received an honorary diploma at the 2nd Venice International Film Festival.[9]

Patala Bhairavi (1951) was the only South Indian film screened at the first India International Film Festival.[10][11] Patala Bhairavi (1951), Malliswari (1951), Devadasu (1953), Mayabazar (1957), Nartanasala (1963), Maro Charithra (1978), Maa Bhoomi (1979), Sankarabharanam (1980), Sagara Sangamam (1983), and Siva (1989), have been showcased among CNN-IBN's 100 Greatest Indian Films of All Time.[12]

Works such as B. Narsing Rao's ethnographic film Maa Ooru won the 1992 Hungarian Visual Arts "Main Prize - Media Wave Award".[13][14] K. N. T. Sastry's Thilaadanam received "New Currents Award" at the 7th Busan International Film Festival.[15][16] K. Viswanath's Swati Mutyam was India's official entry to the 59th Academy Awards. Rajnesh Domalpalli's Vanaja was nominated for the Best First Feature and Best Cinematography awards at the "23rd American Independent Spirit Awards".[17][18]

The Baahubali (franchise) produced by Tollywood studio Arka Media Works is the highest grossing Indian film of all time globally.[19] The second installment, The Conclusion is the only Indian film to receive the "Best International Film" at the "44th American Saturn Awards".[20]


Early development

The Telugu film industry was originated with silent films in 1912, with the production and release of Anusha Adusumalli in 1921 [22] The film was directed by Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu and his son R. S. Prakash.[23] On the other hand, Yaragudipati Varada Rao and, R. S. Prakash Rao have established a long-lasting precedent of focusing exclusively on religious themes; Nandanar, Gajendra Moksham, and Matsyavatar, three of their most noted productions, centred on religious figures, parables, and morals.[24] The first film studio in South India, Durga Cinetone, was built in 1936 by Nidamarthi Surayya in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh.[25] In 1935, Andhra Cine Tone was built in Visakhapatnam by Gottumukkala Jagannadha Raju. He introduced digital theater sound with the 1935 film Jagadamba.[26]

Rise of the "talkie"

The first Telugu film with audible dialogue, Bhakta Prahlada, was produced by H.M. Reddy, who directed the first South Indian talkie Kalidas (1931). Bhakta Prahlada was completed on 15 September 1931,[27] which henceforth became known as "Telugu Film Day" to commemorate its completion.[28][29][30] Popularly known as talkies, films with sound quickly grew in number and popularity. In 1934, the industry saw its first major commercial success with Lavakusa. Directed by C. Pullaiah and starring Parupalli Subbarao and Sriranjani in lead roles, the film attracted unprecedented numbers of viewers to theatres and thrust the young industry into mainstream culture.[31] By 1936, the mass appeal of film allowed directors to move away from religious and mythological themes.[31] That year, under the direction of Krithiventi Nageswara Rao, Prema Vijayam, a film focusing on social issues, was released. Its success prompted the production of dozens of other immensely successful 'social films', notably 1939's Vandemataram, touching on societal problems like the practice of giving dowry, Telugu films increasingly focused on contemporary living: 29 of the 96 films released between 1937 and 1947 had social themes.[32]

Cinema during the Crown Rule

In 1938, Gudavalli Ramabrahmam, has co-produced and directed the social problem film, Mala Pilla which dealt with the crusade against untouchability, prevailing in pre-independent India.[33][34] In 1939, he directed Raithu Bidda, starring thespian Bellary Raghava. The film was banned by the British administration in the region, for depicting the uprise of the peasantry among the Zamindar's during the British raj.[35] 1940 film, Viswa Mohini, is the first Indian film, depicting the Indian movie world. The film was directed by Y. V. Rao and scripted by Balijepalli Lakshmikanta Kavi, starring Chittor V. Nagaiah in the lead role.[36][37]

The outbreak of World War II and the subsequent resource scarcity caused the British Raj to impose a limit on the use of filmstrip in 1943 to 11,000 feet,[38] a sharp reduction from the 20,000 feet that had been common till then.[39] As a result, the number of films produced during the war was substantially lower than in previous years. Nonetheless, before the ban, an important shift occurred in the industry: Independent studios formed, actors and actresses were signed to contracts limiting whom they could work for, and films moved from social themes to folklore legends.[40] Ghantasala Balaramayya, has directed the mythological Seetarama Jananam under his home production, Prathiba Picture, marking veteran ANR's Telugu film acting debut in 1944.[41]

Classical cinema and Golden Age

Malliswari is the first Telugu film which had a public release with thirteen prints along with Chinese subtitles at Beijing on 14, March 1953, and a 16 mm film print was also screened in the United States.[42][43] The film was directed by Bommireddy Narasimha Reddy, a recipient of the Dada Saheb Phalke Award, and the Doctor of Letters honour.[43]

Vasiraju Prakasam and K. N. T. Sastry are one of the noted Indian film critics from the state.[44][45] The industry is one of the largest producers of folklore, fantasy, mythological and melodrama films.[46][47][48] Filmmakers like Kadiri Venkata Reddy, B. Vittalacharya and Kodi Ramakrishna have pioneered this genre.[49][50] 1956 film Tenali Ramakrishna has garnered the All India Certificate of Merit for Best Feature Film. In 2013, IBN Live's poll cited Mayabazar as the Greatest Indian film of all time.[51]

Relangi, and Ramana Reddy were a comedy double act during this era.[52] Nartanasala won the best art direction award at the Afro Asian film festival in Jakarta.[53] Donga Ramudu directed by K. V. Reddy was archived in the curriculum of the Film and Television Institute of India.[54] Nammina Bantu received critical reception at the San Sebastián International Film Festival.[55][56] 1967 film Ummadi Kutumbam was selected by Film Federation of India as one of its entries to the Moscow Film Festival.[54][57] The 1968 cult classic Sudigundalu was screened at the Tashkent and Moscow Film Festivals.[58]

Rise of Tollywood

IndustryMotion pictures
Madras Presidency
Chennai (1921 - 1996) Hyderabad (1996 - present)

Moola Narayana Swamy and B. N. Reddy founded Vijaya Vauhini Studios in 1948 in the city of Chennai.[63] Indian film doyen L. V. Prasad, who started his film career with Bhakta Prahlada, founded Prasad Studios in 1956 based in Chennai.[64] However, through the efforts of D. V. S. Raju, the Telugu film industry completely shifted its base from Chennai to Hyderabad in the early 1990s, during N. T. Rama Rao's political reign.[65]

Veteran actor Akkineni Nageswara Rao relocated to Hyderabad and has developed Annapurna Studios. The Telugu film industry is one of the three largest film producers in India. About 245 Telugu films were produced in 2006, the highest in India for that year. Film studios in Hyderabad, developed by D. Ramanaidu and Ramoji Rao, are involved in prolific film production and employment.[66] There is a fair amount of dispersion among the Indian film industries. Many successful Telugu films have been largely remade by the Bengali cinema and Hindi film industries.[67]

The digital cinema network company UFO Moviez marketed by Southern Digital Screenz (SDS) has digitized several cinemas in the region.[68][69] The Film and Television Institute of Telangana, Film and Television Institute of Andhra Pradesh, Ramanaidu Film School and Annapurna International School of Film and Media are some of the largest film schools in India.[70][71] The Telugu states consist of approximately 2800 theaters, the largest number of cinema halls of any state in India.[72]

The industry holds the Guinness World Record for the largest film production facility in the world, Ramoji Film City.[73] The Prasads IMAX located in Hyderabad is one of the largest 3D IMAX screens, and the most attended cinema screen in the world.[74][75][76] As per the CBFC report of 2014, the industry is placed first in India, in terms of films produced yearly.[77] The industry holds a memorandum of understanding with the Motion Picture Association of America to combat video piracy.[78][79][80] In the years 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2014 the industry has produced the largest number of films in India, exceeding the number of films produced in Bollywood.[81][66]

Known for being commercially consistent,[82] Telugu cinema had its influence over commercial cinema in India.[83] Telugu film production accounts for one percent of the gross domestic product of the region.[82][84] [85] The 1992 film Gharana Mogudu, directed by K. Raghavendra Rao, is the first Telugu film to gross over 10 crore at the box office.[86]

Spread to World markets

Athadu was released with 6 prints in United States and was distributed by Vishnu Mudda and Soma Kancherla of Crown DVD distribution company in San Jose, Dallas, Detroit, Virginia, New Jersey, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Minneapolis, Phoenix at Arizona and also in centers like Lowell at Massachusetts, MA, Tulsa at Oklahoma, West Virginia, Springfield, Boulder at Colorado and Corpus Christi at South Texas. Because of the demand, another print was imported from India for screening.[87][88] The film's first screening in USA happened at Cine Plaza 13 at North Bergen on the night of 11 August 2005.[89] At Connecticut, a special screening was conducted on 19 August 2005. Initially one show was planned but because of the demand another show was screened. There at the theater, a turn out of 442 people was observed which included standing audience for 434 seats and about 60 could not be accommodated.[90] Apart from USA, the film released in selected screens in United Kingdom, Singapore, Germany and Australia.[88]

Bommarillu was released worldwide with 72 prints. Owing to its success, the number of reels grew to about hundred.[91] It collected a distributors share of 5 crore in its opening week in India.[91] Released in six major metros in the United States, the film collected $73,200 (then approximately 0.3 crore) within the first four days of screening.[91] A 2006 survey conducted by a popular entertainment portal in the United States revealed that the film was watched by an Indian expatriate population of 65,000, which generated a revenue of 3 crore at that time.[92] A cumulative gross revenue for the film was reported to be as 25 crore including 3.5 crore from overseas, the largest for any Telugu film at that time. Owing to this path breaking trade, the film was remade into Tamil, Bengali, Oriya and Urdu/Hindi.[93] 2006 action film, Pokiri has been remade in Hindi, Tamil and Kannada in the following two years owing to the film's commercial success. It was screened at the IIFA film festival held in Dubai in 2006. [94] Walt Disney Pictures co-produced Anaganaga O Dheerudu, making it the first South Indian production by Disney.[95][96]

The fantasy film Magadheera (2009 ) was released to critical acclaim; with a worldwide share of ₹78.1 crore (US$13 million) making it one of the highest grossing Telugu films of the time. The film was dubbed into Malayalam, Tamil and was remade in Bengali as Yodha-The Warrior, and emerged as a box office hit. 2011 action comedy, Dookudu was released among seventy nine screens in the United States, the Los Angeles Times quoted it as The biggest hit you've never heard of.[97][98][99] In the rest of north, east and west India, it opened up in 21 cities.[100] The film set a box office record by collecting a gross of more than 1 billion at the time.[101][102]

Eega (2012) grossed 1.25 billion (US$18 million) including all the dubbed versions.[103][104][105][106] In 2013, Attarintiki Daredi collected a worldwide share of ₹492 million (US$8.2 million). The film collected a worldwide share of ₹798 million (US$13 million) in three weeks, becoming the biggest Telugu film grosser of all time.[107][108]

1: Nenokkadine and Aagadu, became the highest opening weekend Indian film(s) at the United States box office.[109][110] Enhanced technology among live action animation, digital compositing, and special effects paved the way for upgrading from established cinematic norms. Visual effects based fantasy films like Magadheera, Arundhati, Eega and Dhamarukam emerged as blockbusters.[111] Epic film Baahubali: The Beginning (2015) received critical acclaim for its visual effects, production design, narration and background score.[112][113][114][115] The film became the highest grossing Indian film within India,[116] the third highest grossing Indian film globally, the first and only South Indian film to gross over 650 crore (6.5 billion) worldwide, the first Hindi dubbed film to gross over 100 crore, and the highest grossing Telugu film of all time with a Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film nomination.[117][118]

Post Classical cinema

Sankarabharanam won the Prize of the Public at the Besançon Film Festival of France in the year 1981.[119] B. Narsing Rao produced Maa Bhoomi which was showcased at Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Cairo and Sidney Film Festivals. He directed, Daasi and Matti Manushulu which won the Diploma of Merit award at the Moscow International Film Festival in 1989 and 1991 respectively.[120] In 2003, he directed Hari Villu screened at the 56th Cannes.[121][122][123] M. V. Raghu has directed the Neo-realistic film Kallu (1988), scripted by Gollapudi Maruti Rao has received thirty state awards and has garnered special mention from the CBFC Jury.[124] Chandra Siddhartha's 1995 film, Nirantharam based on 1948 Telangana Rebellion, has received special mention at Cairo and Locarno International Film Festivals.[125]

Bapu's directorial venture Sakshi was showcased at Tashkent International film festival in 1968.[126] In 1976, he directed Seeta Kalyanam got critical acclaim at the BFI London Film Festival and Chicago International Film Festival, and is part of the curriculum at British Film Institute.[127][128] Swati Mutyam (1986) is the only Telugu film to be sent by India as its official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film for the Academy Awards.[129][130] Oka Oori Katha has won special awards at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and Carthage Film Festival.[131] Vanaja won several international awards including the first prize in the live-action feature film category at the Chicago International Children's Film Festival.[132] 2012 film Dream, has garnered the Royal Reel Award at the Canada International Film Festival.[133][134][135]

2013 Social problem film, Na Bangaaru Talli has received Best Film award at the Trinity International Film Festival in Detroit, and four Awards at the Indonesian International Film Festival.[136][137][138] 2014 film Minugurulu was selected as Best Indian Film at the 9th India International Children's Film Festival, held at Bangalore.[139] 2013 Cultural film, O Friend, This Waiting! has received special mention at the Erasing Borders Festival of Classical Dance, Indo-American Arts Council, New York, 2013.[140] 2014 film Parampara has garnered the Platinum Award for Best Feature at the International Indonesian Movie Awards.[141] 2018 biographical film Mahanati based on the life of veteran actress Savitri has garnered the "Equality in Cinema Award" at the 2018 Indian Film Festival of Melbourne.[142]

New Tollywood

Ram Gopal Varma's Siva, which attained cult status in Telugu cinema, is one of the first Telugu films produced after the migration of Telugu film industry from Madras to Hyderabad to feature characters speaking the Telangana dialect.[143][144] Varma was credited with the introduction of steadicams and new sound recording techniques in Telugu films.[145] Within a year of the film's release, more than ten steadicams were imported into India.[146] Siva attracted the young audience during its theatrical run, and its success encouraged filmmakers to explore a variety of themes and make experimental Telugu films.[147][148]

Chiranjeevi, one of the "Big Four" of Telugu cinema in 2013. He was the most successful Indian actor for most of the 1980s and 1990s.
Nagarjuna, one of the "Big Four" in 2015 has been the most successful Telugu actor who made a mark in Bollywood.
Venkatesh, one of the "Big Four" in 2013 has been a recipient of the maximum number of the Nandi Award for Best Actor
Balakrishna, one of the "Big Four" in 2012 is known for box office success, was the chief guest at the 43rd IFFI.

Subsequently Varma introduced road cinema and film-noir to Telugu audience with Kshana Kshanam. Varma experimented with close-to-life performances by the lead actors, which bought a rather fictional storyline a sense of authenticity at a time when the industry was being filled with unnecessary commercial fillers.[149] Produced by Durga Arts, the film went on to become a sleeper hit with its second theatrical release [150] in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Tamil Nadu, along with a dubbed Hindi version titled Hairaan which gathered positive reports from bollywood critics, having been screened at Ann Arbor Film Festival, and the Fribourg International Film Festival.[151][152]

Singeetam Srinivasa Rao introduced science fiction to the Telugu screen with Aditya 369, the film dealt with exploratory dystopian and apocalyptic themes.[153] The edge of the seat thriller had characters which stayed human, inconsistent and insecure. The film's narrative takes the audience into the post apocalyptic experience through time travel, as well as folklore generation of 1500 A.D, which including a romantic backstory, the "Time Machine" made it a brilliant work of fiction.[154][155][156]

Chiranjeevi's works such as the comedy thriller, Chantabbai, the Vigilante thriller, Kondaveeti Donga the first Telugu film to be released on a 70 mm 6-Track Stereophonic sound,[157] the Western thriller Kodama Simham, and the action thriller, Gang Leader, popularized genre films with the highest estimated footfall.[158] cited Sekhar Kammula's, National Award winning "Dollar Dreams" as a take off from where Nagesh Kukunoor's Hyderabad Blues ends.[159] Dollar Dreams explored the conflict between American dreams and human feelings. The film re-introduced Social realism to Telugu screen, and brought back its lost glory which until then was stuck in its run of the mill commercial pot-boilers.[160]

Sub-Genres and off beat films

Screenwriters such as Chandra Sekhar Yeleti experimented with the off beat film Aithe with a caption "all movies are not the same" Aithe was made on a shoestring budget of about 1.5 crores and went on to collect more than 6 crores. After almost two years he delivered another thriller Anukokunda Oka Roju both films were a refreshing change of pace to the audiences, produced by Gunnam Gangaraju.[161] AIthe was remade in Tamil as Naam (2003) and in Malayalam as Wanted (2004).[162]

Speaking about the centenary of Indian cinema at the CII Media and Entertainment Summit 2012, filmmaker Shekhar Kapur said regional cinema is surpassing Hindi cinema in content and story, and cited Eega as an example. Kapur said he was impressed with its story and use of technology, and called it "no less than a Hollywood superhero film".[163] Shah Rukh Khan called Eega an "awesomely original" film and a "must watch" with children.[164][165] Eega has garnered Best Film to watch with a crowd at the 8th Annual Edition Toronto After Dark Film Festival.[166]

Sub Genre war drama Kanche by Krish Jagarlamudi explored the 1944 Nazis attack on the Indian army in the Italian campaign, during World War II in an engrossing background tale of caste-ism while giving it a technically brilliant cinematic rendition.[167] Sankalp Reddy explored submarine warfare in his directorial debut The Ghazi Attack based on the mysterious altercation between PNS Ghazi and INS Karanj during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.[168]

Indo-Asian News Service called new-generation film maker Sandeep Vanga's Arjun Reddy the "most original, experimental work to come out of Telugu cinema in a long time", and said the protagonist's (played by Vijay Deverakonda) "rise, fall and rise ... is nothing short of poetic and heart wrenching".[169] Adivi Sesh scripted the Neo-noir Kshanam based on a real life incident of a missing three-year-old girl child.[170] Sesh followed it up with the coming-of-age R.A.W. thriller Goodachari.[171] Actor-dancer Allu Arjun produced and acted in the short film, I Am That Change (2014), to spread awareness on individual social responsibility. The movie was directed by Sukumar, which was screened in theatres across Andhra Pradesh and Telangana on Indian Independence day, 2014.[172]

Cast and crew

Chittor V. Nagaiah was one of the most influential actors of South Indian cinema.[173] Vemuri Gaggaiah, Kalyanam Raghuramaiah, R. Nageswara Rao, C.S.R. Anjaneyulu, Yadavalli Suryanarayana, C. H. Narayana Rao, Mudigonda Lingamurthy etc., are some of the finest method actors during the golden era.[174] S. V. Ranga Rao, was one of the first south Indian actors to win the Best Actor Award for his portrayal of Kichaka in Nartanasala at the Indonesian Film Festival held in Jakarta.[175][176] N. T. Rama Rao was one of the commercially successful Telugu actors of his time.[177] K. N. T. Sastry and Pattabhirama Reddy have garnered international recognition for their pioneering work in Parallel Cinema.[178][179] Adurthi Subba Rao, has garnered seven National Film Awards, for his pioneering work on drama films.[180] Akkineni Kutumba Rao's Patha Nagaramlo Pasivadu received Cairo International Film Festival's, Merit Certificate for best feature.[181][182]

Dasari Narayana Rao has directed the most number of films in Telugu, he directed Meghasandesam, which got critical acclaim at Cannes and Moscow Film Festival.[183][184] His film Tandra Paparayudu (1986) starring Krishnam Raju was premiered at the 11th International Film Festival of India.[185][186][187] Noted director B. S. Narayana was a member of the Indian delegation to the Tashkent Film Festival in 1974, and the Moscow International Film Festival in 1975.[188] cinematographers such as V. N. Reddy, K. S. Prasad, Jaya Gummadi, and Sudhakar Yakkanti have garnered nationwide recognition for their work in various Indian languages.[189][190][191] Actor and producer, Krishna Ghattamaneni is credited with producing many technological firsts in Telugu film industry like the first Cinemascope film Alluri Seetharama Raju, first 70mm film Simhasanam, first DTS film Telugu Veera Levara (1988) and introducing cowboy and James Bond styles to the Telugu screen.[192]

Emergence of director Jandhyala in the 1980s saw the growth of comedy film genre in Telugu cinema.[193] Noted film editor from the state, A. Sreekar Prasad, known for his initial works in Telugu films of the 1980s, has garnered national recognition for film editing across multiple languages of Indian cinema.[194]

S. V. Ranga Rao, N. T. Rama Rao, Jaggayya, Kanta Rao, Bhanumathi Ramakrishna, Suryakantam, Gummadi, Savitri , Krishnam Raju and Sobhan Babu are the actors who received the erstwhile Rashtrapati Award for best performance in a leading role.[195][196] Gummadi was an official member of the Indian delegation from South India to the Tashkent Film Festival in 1978 and 1982.[197] He served as the Jury Member thrice for the 28th, 33rd, and 39th National Film Awards.[198][199][200] Sri Sri was one of the influential film lyricists of his time, who garnered national honours like Sahitya Akademi Award, Best Lyricist and Soviet Land Nehru Award for his pioneering work.[201]

Sharada, Archana, Vijayashanti, Rohini, Keerthy Suresh, Nagarjuna Akkineni, and P. L. Narayana are the actors to receive the Indian National Film Award for best performance in acting. Veteran actor Chiranjeevi, was listed among "The men who changed the face of the Indian Cinema" by IBN-live India.[202][203] Brahmanandam, a Telugu actor, holds a Guinness World Record for acting in the most films in the same language.[204][205] Pete Draper, P. C. Sanath, Chakri Toleti and V. Srinivas Mohan are some of the visual effects professional's from the state known for their works in Telugu films.[111][206]

Film Score

Susarla Dakshinamurthi, Parupalli Ramakrishnaiah Pantulu, Ogirala Ramachandra Rao, Pithapuram Nageswara Rao, Tanguturi Suryakumari, and Mangalampalli Balamuralikrishna are some of the influential music composers of Southern Indian cinema.[207][208][209] Music composers such as Pendyala Nageswara Rao, R. Sudarshanam and R. Goverdhanam made contributions to folklore and mythological films.[210][211]

Madhavapeddi Satyam, P. Adinarayana Rao, Gali Penchala Narasimha Rao, Chellapilla Satyam, P. B. Sreenivas, S. P. Kodandapani, G. K. Venkatesh, S. Hanumantha Rao, have contributed their work extensively for films containing themes of social relevance.[212] S.P. Balasubrahmanyam is a multilingual playback singer from Telugu cinema to win National Film Awards across four languages. He holds the record of having recorded more songs than any other male playback singer and has received 25 state Nandi Awards.[213]

S. Rajeswara Rao pioneered the use of light music in Telugu cinema; Rao's most rewarding assignments came from Gemini Studios, which he joined in 1940 and with which he remained for a decade.[214] Ghantasala, performed in the United States, England, and Germany. According to The Hindu, and The Indian Express he was "Such a divine talent and with his songs he could move the hearts of the people. Ghantasala's blending of classical improvisations to the art of light music combined with his virtuosity and sensitivity puts him a class apart, above all others in the field of playback singing".[215][216]

P. Susheela, has been recognized by both the Guinness Book of World Records and the Asia Book of Records for singing most number of songs in Indian languages.[217] She is also the recipient of five National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer and numerous state awards.[218] Works by S. Janaki, M. M. Keeravani, and Ramesh Naidu have received National recognition. Multi-instrumentalists duo Raj-Koti holds a notable career spanning a decade, the duo has garnered particular acclaim for redefining contemporary music.[219][220] R. P. Patnaik is the current president of the Telugu Cine Music Association.[221]

Nandi Awards

The Nandi Awards is the most prominent government funded award ceremony for excellence in the production of Telugu Film, Theatre and Television. It is presented annually at Lalitha Kala Thoranam in Hyderabad,[222] by the Film, Television and Theatre Development Corporation of the Telugu state(s).[223] "Nandi" means "bull", the awards being named after the big granite bull at Lepakshi — a cultural and historical symbol of the Telugu culture.

Guinness records

Dubbed films

The 1949 film Keelu Gurram was the first Telugu film to be dubbed into the Tamil language, being subsequently released under the name Maya Kudhirai.[42] According to the Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce, "as per the Judgement of Supreme Court in Ashirwad Films in W.P.(Civil) No.709 there will be no difference in taxation of films between the dubbed films coming in from other states and the films produced in the Telugu States".[232]

National Award for Best Feature Film

Year Film Producer Note(s)
2015 Baahubali: The Beginning Shobu Yarlagadda National Film Award for Best Feature Film[233]
1992 Bhagavad Gita T. Subbarami Reddy National Film Award for Best Feature Film[234]
1963 Nartanasala Lakshmi Rajyam National Film Award for Second Best Feature Film[235]
1956 Tenali Ramakrishna B. S. Ranga All India Certificate of Merit for Best Feature Film[11]

Dadasaheb Phalke awardees

Year Recipient Note(s)
1974 Bommireddy Narasimha Reddy[236] Director and producer
1980 Paidi Jairaj[236] Actor and thespian
1982 L. V. Prasad[236] Director and producer
1986 B. Nagi Reddy[236] Director and producer
1990 Akkineni Nageswara Rao[236] Actor
2009 D. Ramanaidu[236] Producer
2016 Kasinathuni Viswanath[237] Director and actor

State awards

South Indian Film Awards

Regional awards

Filmmaking studios

Visual effects and animation studios

  • Prasad EFX - Magic in motion
  • Pixelloid Studios
  • Fire Fly Creative Studios[240][241]
  • Makuta VFX[242]

See also


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  2. "Telugu Movies in Theatres". BookMyShow.
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  4. "Telugu Cinema Celebrity – Raghupati Venkaiah Naidu".
  5. "The Hindu : Friday Review Hyderabad : 'Nijam cheppamantara, abaddham cheppamantara... ' ".
  6. "Paul Muni of India – Chittoor V.Nagayya". 6 May 2011. Archived from the original on 26 March 2012. Retrieved 2011-09-21.
  7. Narasimham, M. L. (7 November 2010). "SATI SAVITHRI (1933)". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Retrieved 8 July 2011.
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  9. Bhagwan Das Garg (1996). So many cinemas: the motion picture in India. Eminence Designs. p. 86. ISBN 81-900602-1-X.
  10. "::Directorate Of Film Festivals".
  11. "4th National Film Awards" (PDF). Directorate of Film Festivals. Retrieved 2 September 2011.
  12. "100 Years of Indian Cinema: The 100 greatest Indian films of all time". IBNLive.
  13. "Narsing Rao's films regale Delhi" (Press release). 21 December 2008. Retrieved 25 August 2012.
  14. "The Hindu : Metro Plus Hyderabad / Travel : Unsung moments".
  15. "Awards". Busan International Film Festival. Archived from the original on 20 June 2017. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
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