Cinema of Andhra Pradesh
The film industry of Andhra Pradesh is the largest in India in terms of number of movies made each year. The Prasads IMAX theatre in Hyderabad has the biggest IMAX 3D screen in the world. The industry has earned a handful of Guinness World Records, including records for acting in the same role the most times by an actor (N. T. Rama Rao as Lord Krishna, 18 times), the most number of films directed by a female director (Vijaya Nirmala), the most films produced by one person (D. Ramanaidu), the most number of songs sung by a male singer (S.P.Balasubramanyam), the most same-language films acted by a person (Brahmanandam), the largest film production facility in the world, etc. Bhakta Prahlada, released on September 15, 1931, was South India’s first talkie film to have a theatrical release.
Hyderabad is the homeland of Tollywood, the Telugu movie industry. The state of Andhra Pradesh has more than 3700 cinema theatres, of which 200 are in the city of Hyderabad alone. The Telugu film industry produces the most films every year in India, with about 245 films produced in 2006. Popular movies tend to open during the three festive/holiday seasons of the region: Sankranthi, Ugadi, and Dussera. In 2004, the total revenue for the Sankranthi season was around Indian Rupee 1.5 billion (US$37 million, as of 17 July 2007), greater than that of the Hindi film industry.
Ramoji Film City
Ramoji Film City is the world’s largest integrated film studio complex at over 2,000 acres of land. It is also a popular tourism and recreation centre, containing both natural and artificial attractions including an amusement park. Film producer Ramoji Rao, head of the Ramoji Group, opened the facility in 1996. The creation of the Ramoji Film City was an outcome of the Group’s association with Indian cinema through Usha Kiran Movies, its dedicated film production house, which has produced over 80 films in several languages such as Hindi, Malayalam, Telugu, Tamil, Kannada, Marathi and Bangla
Ramoji Film City offers pre-production, production, and post-production resources. It offers over 500 set locations. There are many gardens, authentic sets, about 50 studio floors, a digital film facility, the support systems, outdoor locations, high-tech laboratories, etc. The Film City’s infrastructure includes custom-designed locations and mock-ups, set construction, properties and costumes, shooting stages, cameras and equipment, audio post-production, digital-post-production/SFX as well as film processing. Twenty international films and forty Indian films can be produced simultaneously in the complex. It has attracted not only filmmakers from the country, but also producers from around the world including Hollywood.
At the entrance of the film city are the 3-star hotel, Tara and a 5-star hotel, Sitara for the film production units as well as for tourists. Once inside, there is Hawa Mahal, an intricate miniature Golconda Fort, which is on a hilltop from which one can have a Bird’s-eye view of the whole studio. The Film City provides honeymoon packages and banquet halls for corporate retreats and conventions.
Some of the places for tourists to visit include: a Japanese garden, the ETV planet (a multi-purpose editing suit), a large pool, artificial waterfalls, intricately carved caves, an airport terminal, hospital set, railway station, churches, mosques and temples, shopping plazas, palace interiors, chateaus, rural complexes, urban dwellings, a winding highway, and model US and European sets. Shops include Parade, a prop-shop, where costumes of actors can be ordered and Shangrila, a nursery that sells exotic plants. This Film city has also “Ramoji Film Magic” which shows about the behing-the-scene activities involved in movie making.
The vintage Film City coaches shuttle visitors around the studios on a guided tour. There are several settings in the studios which lead the visitors from streets of the Mauryan Empire or the Mughal Empire or even the American Old West. There’s also the famous Hollywood sign displayed on the hills at the studios.
Ramoji Film City is World’s largest Film Studio -Guinness Book of World record holder equipped with all facilities required for film-making.