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History of Telugu Cinema

Telugu cinema or tollywood is one of the three largest film industries in terms of number of producing films every year. Telugu industry holds record of having largest film producing facilities in the world. Ramoji film studio is largest studio in the world. History of Telugu films starts in 1912 with silent movie Bhishma Pratigna directed by Raghupati Venkaiah Naidu R.S. Prakash.This father son duo produced and directed dozens of films in Telugu cinema.

In 1931 the first audible movie Bhakt Prahlad was released. H.M. Reddy produced it.In 1934 the first major commercial was brought to Telugu cinema with movie Lavkusha. In early phase Mythological stories were dominating Telugu industry. In the year 1936 first Telugu social film Premavijayam was brought by Krittiventi Nageswar Rao. It influenced other film makers as well to raise the social issues. Vandematram and Mallapilla were notable ones.The issues like untouchablity, dowry, feudal system were the subjects of Telugu cinema specially after 1939.

In 1943 world war II and resource scarcity made British Raj to impose limit on the uses of filmstrip. It was reduced from 20000 to 11000 feet which decreased the number of production of films comparatively.

Till this era many individual studios were established, actors n actresses were signed on contract basis and Telugu industry was rising rapidly.

In 1950 nineteen Telugu films were released in a year. Bi- lingual films were also in trend for Tamil and Telugu but the expression problems led to the stoppage of this trend.

In 1950 NT Rama popularly known as NTR emerged as another great film personality. ANR and NTR duo was a hit duo for telugu cinema and they both worked in 15 films including Palletnori pilla, Gundamma katha, misamma, Chanakya- Chandragupta etc. NTR later on joined politics and became chief minister of Andhra Pradesh.

Krishna was an another film personality whos contribution to Telugu cinema is indelible.  He always encouraged new talents and many actors and actresses were launched by him.

In 1987 Chiranjivi appeared as new cult figure of Telugu cinema and his versatility to dance, act, fight made him superstar and living icon for Telugu cinema. He is still working with same energy.

Between 1977 to 1979 three art movies revolutionised Telugu cinema and these were Shyam beneghal’s Anugraham, Mrinal sen’s Oka Kuri katha and Gautam Ghosh’s maabhumi. These movies brough Telugu cinema out of mythological stories and made it to concentrate on real stories which gave actors and actresses more chances to show their talent.

Telugu movies won many national awards and today its one of the three largest industries in the country.