No tax on small-budget movies, medical insurance for technicians and subsidy for small films are some of the demands put forth by the Telangana Film Producers' Guild (TFPG) in an effort to support the Telangana film industry. On June 2 India's 29th state Telangana was born and the producers guild has reportedly presented a list of 11 demands to the state government.
"These key demands have been formed keeping in mind different challenges we are facing as an industry. All these years, Telangana's participation has been very minimal in Telugu films. All that is going to change now," filmmaker Pratani Ramakrishna Goud, member of TFPG, told IANS.
"Most of our demands have been formed to benefit small films. For instance, we have requested that tax should not be levied on small movies. They should be allotted the 11.30 a.m. show in cinemas across the state and be permitted to shoot free of cost on locations," he said. Other demands for small films include subsidy and compulsory satellite rights. "Films made under certain budget should be eligible for Rs.10 lakh subsidy and their satellite rights have to be guaranteed," he added.
The satellite rights of films featuring stars are bought for fancy prices, but movies made by young filmmakers starring newcomers are snubbed. "When a low budget film turns out to be a blockbuster, its satellite rights are bought for a decent price by most of the channels. Otherwise, the fate of small Telugu films is limited to theatrical run, which is usually overshadowed by a big film," director Nagaraju told IANS.
In 2013, Nagaraju's Telugu directorial debut Mallela Theeram Lo Sirimalle Puvvu released to rave reviews, but the film didn't last in theatres for more than a week because it had a limited release. "All films can't be made with the same elements like starry cast. Filmmaking is a creative art and therefore each one is free to make what he or she pleases. Everyone should be given equal opportunities to showcase their work," said Nagaraju.
"I think this is a great move to help small films. This way filmmakers like me can confidently make films hoping at least they can make money through satellite rights," he added.
Other demands by TFPG include inclusion of Telangana work force. "We demand that 50 percent of workforce in Telugu films should belong to Telangana. This is the only way we can ensure that equal opportunities are provided to the craftsmen of both the states. All the technicians should also be insured for medical benefits," Goud said.
"All 24 film unions of different crafts should have offices in one premise. Most importantly, we need a resident of Telangana to lead Telangana Film Chambers of Commerce," he added.