Telugu producers urge theatres not to give preference to dubbed films at film festivals; the move may have an impact on Varisu and Thunivu

During festivals such as Dussehra and Sankranti, film producers in the two Telugu-speaking states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have urged exhibitors to prioritise Telugu films over dubbed releases. The Telugu Film Producers Council stated in a press release that only ‘Telugu straight films’ should be given preference by theatres during festivals. The Pongal-Sankranti weekend in 2023 will see the release of two major Tamil films, Varisu and Thunivu, and fans are concerned about their fate.

The Telugu Film Producers Council stated in a press release, “Keeping in mind the increased cost of production of Telugu films, the welfare of producers, and to save the Telugu film industry, the Telugu Film Chamber of Commerce has passed a resolution that ‘Only Telugu straight Films should be given preference during the festivals of Sankaranthi and Dassera.”

The release refers to a decision made by the body in 2019 and emphasises it by quoting film producer Dil Raju. “In this regard, noted Producer and current Vice-President of Telugu Film Chamber of Commerce Sri Dil Raju has categorically informed through media in the year 2019 that how can we give theatres to dubbed Telugu movies during festivals and therefore the first preference shall be given to straight Telugu movies for screening in theatres and the remaining will be given to dubbed Telugu movies during festivals,” the release continues.

The statement concludes with a request from the body to Telugu film exhibitors. “As a result, the Telugu Film Producers Council requests that exhibitors invariably implement the following decision: ‘Only Telugu straight Films should be given preference for screening in theatres during the festivals of Sankranthi and Dassera, and the remaining may be given to dubbed Telugu movies.”

The Sankranti-Pongal weekend in January is now the state’s first major festival. Agent, starring Akhil Akkineni, Veera Narsimha Reddy, starring Nandamuri Balakrishna, and Waltair Veerayya, starring Chiranjeevi, are among the three Telugu releases this weekend. However, the two films most likely to be impacted by this strategy are two Tamil films starring superstars and hoping to gain a share of the Telugu market. Vijay’s Varisu and Ajith Kumar’s Thunivu are the two.

Adipurush, a Hindi film starring Prabhas, has been pushed back to June, avoiding the potential musical chair competition for weekend screens. So far, the exhibitors have not responded to the producers’ request, so it remains to be seen how this development plays out.

By Piya

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