VIJAYAWADA: Apart from the Nandi Awards' dispute that questioned the jury's decision in the selection of awards, there is another issue that has put the spotlight once again on the film industry. The current hot debate is whether the film industry with its multitude of studios and post production units, should be set up in Amravati or Visakhapatnam. It is widely known by now that Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu is in favour of its base at Amaravati, as according to what the chief minister has envisioned, the new city will house the State's key offices, officials and their residences.
Naturally, the film industry being one of the premier industries of the State should also have its major units located in Amaravati. Besides, slated as it is to become one of the top five cities in the world, as per the CM’s vision, there would be no better place to showcase the film industry. The film industry itself is, however, divided on the location for setting up the industry in Andhra Pradesh.
The big shots of the industry have been split into two groups. There is also a third lot of smaller moviemakers that constitutes the third group which, however, cannot compete or contest with the other two groups. Members of the group would rather want to wait for the verdict of the fight of the two big groups. Daggubati Suresh babu, producer and head of Suresh Productions, who has set up a studio at Visakhapatnam already, is now rooting for Amaravati as per sources. The buzz in the industry is that he had been given the site from the government in Visakhpatnam, now he wants the same in Amaravati. On the other hand, Mr. Nandamuri Balakrishna is of the opinion that Visakhpatnam is suitable for the film Industry.
The FDC team along with Nandamuri Balakrishna, had met the chief minister with the list of awardees of Nandi and had spoken about this. A team led by Mr D. Suresh babu has also met the chief minister separately. According to industry sources, so many others have also approached the government for the sanction of sites to construct their studios in Amaravati.
Mr Chandrababu Naidu, when he met the Nandi Awards jury members and FDC team, had clearly indicated that he preferred Amaravati as the place where infrastructure for the film industry could be developed. He had mentioned that Amaravati would be in the top five cities of the world in the future. But at the same time, he had also mentioned that Visakhpatnam is a readymade city for the film industry.
The industry grapevine on the other hand, has another story to tell. Insiders feel that after the flak faced by the government for the selection of films at the Nandi Awards, it would be cautious before making an announcement. “If the more powerful group puts the pressure on for Visakhapatnam,” said a filmmaker, “We may well see two parallel film industries-one set up in Vizag and the other in Amaravati!” Mr Ambica Krishna, Chairman of FDC, has stated that no decision has been taken as yet. He has informed that the Nandi Awards presenting ceremony would be conducted in January at Vijayawada.