Telugu film industry is celebrating 79 years of its existence. Yesterday (September 15) telugu talkie has completed 79 years and entered into 80th year to continue its never ending journey.
“Aalam aara” is the first telugu talkie. After six months of this movie, “Bhakta Prahlada” was released i.e., on September 15th, 1931. And one month before this movie, a tamil talkie “Kalidasu” was released. H.M. Reddy directed these two movies. Story of “Bhakta Prahlada” is derived from Indian ethics and ancient Puranas. Dharmavaram Ramakrishnamacharya wrote this story and a famous drama company “Surabhi Natya Mandali” used to play this story on stage. This play includes 40 songs and ethical poems written by Pothana in “Bhagavatam” were also included in this play. “Bhakta Prahlada” movie was made with slight changes in this play. Chandala Kesavadasu wrote songs for this movie. Munipalle Subhayya played “Hiranya Kasipa” role in “Bhakta Prahlada” movie and hero of the story, Bhakta Prahlada role was played by Sindhuri Krishna rao. He came from “Surabhi Natya mandali” family. He came to act in front of Camera at the age of 9. For hero’s role director HM.Reddy selected Krishna Rao after scrutinizing 5 children. The selection process took place in Mumbai. The director was very much impressed by Krishna Rao’s performance during selection process. Now Krishna Rao’s name was noted in the history of Indian Cinema as the first hero of Telugu films. At that time his remuneration was Rs.400/-. In those days, no proper technology was available to everyone to play or to listen to movie songs. Instead of that, lyrics of the songs were printed on books. Unfortunately, today we have no such information regarding “Bhakta Prahlada” movie is available. People in those days were really thrilled and excited to watch moving images on the screen with voice-over. Many people were afraid of watching such images on-screen. The Director HM.Reddy and the producer Ardheshir Irani were noted in the history of Telugu cinema, who made films in early days when no technology was available. But negative of “Bhakta Prahlada” movie was disappeared with time and ‘Pune Films Archives’ also confirmed that they have no information regarding “Bhakta Prahlada” of early days, in their records. Some evidences say that this movie was screened in “Bhallari” around 1980s.
Today Telugu film industry became one of the costliest businesses with sophisticated technology. Production cost of “Bhakta Prahlada” movie of early days was less than Rs 20000/-. But today it takes Crores of rupees to make a movie. Moreover, today’s film industry is providing livelihood for thousands of families. And Cinema became a part of everyone’s life.
Let’s hope the film industry will feed more people for more decades and centuries.