Covid-19 casts its shadow on Telugu cinema industry in 2021: Like other regions of the country and the world, the Telugu film industry also suffered loss of art, artists and earnings in 2021 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. However, at the end of the year, there are some signs of improvement. Even though the level of damage was not the same as in 2020, the industry is still struggling to get back to normalcy. Award-winning lyricist Sirivennela Sitaram Shastri passed away due to illness and Shivshankar Master, who was a dance choreographer in several language films, also passed away in November due to COVID-19. The desolation created by the passing of these giants cannot be filled. The shooting of many films was also halted due to the pandemic.
Producer of the film ‘Baahubali’ SS Rajamouli’s ‘RRR’ also had to postpone the shooting date. According to sources in the Telugu film industry, this film of Ram Charan and Jr NTR is going to release on January 7 next year. At the same time, Prabhas’s film ‘Radhe Shyam’ is also going to be released in 2022. Balakrishna’s ‘Akhand’ will also release next year.
This year Jana Sena chief Pawan Kalyan’s film ‘Vakil Saab’ was released in theatres. After the elections in 2019, he returned to the screen for the first time. It was said that the film did well at the box office. Apart from ‘Vakil Saab’, films like ‘Crack’, ‘Konda Polam’ and ‘Pushpa’ also did well, giving hope to the industry for further improvement. In neighboring Andhra Pradesh, the government is trying to control the ticket prices in cinema halls, while in Telangana, the government has increased the ticket prices to get the industry back on track.
Organizations belonging to the film industry are trying to talk to the Andhra Pradesh government on this issue. Telugu film producer industry president C Kalyan said the industry suffered a loss of Rs 2000 crore in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic and it will take time to recover. He said that the industry used to release around 250 films annually whereas this year only 40 films were released. (bhasha)