How did Telugu Cinema Shifted from Madras to Hyderabad

Ramoji Film City
Ramoji Film City, Hyderabad, India

The Tale of Telugu Film Industry

During the early years of South Indian Cinema, Madras was the home base for major production houses and studios. At that time, Andhra Pradesh lacked infrastructural development & this is the major reason why Madras has become the home base for Telugu cinema rather than Andhra Pradesh. You would surely be amazed to know that most of the iconic Telugu films of the 50s era like ‘Mayabazar’, ‘Pathala Bhairavi’, ‘Missamma’ and ‘Gundamma Katha’ weren’t actually filmed in Andhra Pradesh where the films have won the hearts of the millions but they were shot in the film studios of Madras.

It was because of the brilliant efforts of Sri Akkineni Nageswara Rao that the Telugu film industry relocated its base from Madras to Hyderabad which was earlier a part of the state of Andhra Pradesh. At the time of relocation, Andhra Pradesh lacked the infrastructure that is needed for the film industry to sustain.

ANR’s Efforts in Telugu Film Industry’s Shift from Chennai


ANR strongly viewed that the Telugu film industry needed to have its home base in a Telugu state rather than in Madras. So, to tackle the issue of infrastructure he built his own movie studio on 22 acres of land in Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad, in 1975. He named the studio after his beloved wife ‘Annapurna’ & is popular it is ‘Annapurna Studios’.  He then produced many films under the banner of Annapurna Pictures and all the films were successful both critically and commercially. If we look at the movies that were released in the 60s and 70s, it becomes clear that the majority of the films were shot in the then still developing city of Hyderabad at ANR’s movie production studio, ‘Annapurna Studios’.

At that time, apart from a few actors along with ANR, no other major actors nor production houses were ready to migrate to Hyderabad as Madras has well-established infrastructure facilities for filming & so many decided to stay back. It was only after Sri Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao channeled himself into a successful political leader that most of the producers decided to move to Hyderabad.

After ANR’s production house became a grand success, many film studios and production houses started migrating from Chennai to Hyderabad and since then there was no looking back. We can say that it was during the late 90s that the complete transition of the Telugu film industry had taken place from Madras to Hyderabad. Tollywood had found the home in a Telugu state which was always it’s own.

Telugu Cinema is The Second Biggest Film Industry in India

Telugu film industry (TFI) doesn’t loosely use the word ‘flop’. In the Telugu film industry, the success of a film is largely based on the returns on the investment in the film. This is the prime reason why the Telugu Film industry is thriving & improving its market range with every passing year. Today, we can proudly say that Hyderabad is home to the second biggest film industry in India.


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