Running studios not viable, says Sarathi Studios chairman

When many film studios are downing shutters in Hyderabad, renowned Sarathi Studios, the first film studio established in Hyderabad in 1956, has overcome many hurdles in the last six decades to sustain in the business. “I do agree that running film studios is not economically viable and some studios have shut down in Hyderabad and Chennai as well,” admitsM S R V Prasad, chairman of Sarathi Studios.

“We need love for cinema and passion to sustain in the studio industry. When we took over in 2005, we had a lot of doubts in our minds, but we managed to hold our fort and kept the show going,” he adds.

He admits that it was difficult to hold on to passion when property rates were soaring in Hyderabad. It would have been easier to give it up for real estate development and minted gold. “Of course, the temptation was there since ours is a high-value property situated in the heart of the city and we thought of it. However, we overlooked the huge real estate gains and settled for Rs 1 crore earnings per year since our studio is a pride of Hyderabad,” he points out.

He also goes to say that studios cannot thrive on film content alone and TV and OTT reality shows have kept their studio floors buzzing with activity for many years. “Content creation has taken various forms and has helped studios a bit,” he quips. The studio also boasts of the first Telugu film being completely shot in Hyderabad and it was ‘Maa Inti Mahalaxmi’ in 1959.

Cut to the present, in 2024, they are providing state-of-the-art post-production facility and the work for the much-awaited film ‘Kalki 2898AD’ is happening in the studio. “From ‘Maa Inti Mahalaxmi’ to the latest ‘Kalki’ our studio has a memorable and illustrious journey. In fact, we have installed the latest Dolby Atmos, the latest in sound system, and viewers will enjoy sound effects 360 degrees around them in theatres,” he informs.

Sarathi Studios also produced classic Telugu movies like ‘Mala Pilla’, ‘Raithu Bidda’ and ‘Rojulu Marayi’ and they will be back in production. “We are thinking about producing films, but nothing is fixed yet. Our studio has dished out some of the most landmark films in the past and associated them with great filmmakers,” he says and adds, “AI is a new threat to content creation and we have to be quite watchful like in Hollywood.”

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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