It is the same old story all over again.The National awards were announced on Thursday and Tollywood, which had nothing to write home about, cut quite a sorry picture. For an industry that churns out around 150 movies on an average every year, it's appaling that not a single film or actor managed to win an award, yet again — not even in the regional film category! Ask industry gurus and veterans where are we going wrong, and a blame game ensues.
 According to sources, five Telugu films were shortlisted for National awards from a list of 25 films this year. Radhakrishna's " Vedam", Dasari Narayana Rao's "Parama Veera Chakra", Sunil Kumar Reddy's "Ganga Putrulu", Deva Katta's " Prasthanam" and "Broker" directed by RP Patnaik were the main contenders. Of these, only two — "Ganga Putrulu" and "Broker" — were finally selected as Tollywood's picks to compete at a national level. Even as the industry mourns the no-show, rumours are rife that one influential filmmaker whose film got dropped from the list at the last minute, played party pooper by lobbying against the other films. His argument, say sources, was that if he didn't win an award, then no one else should either. "If any other film bagged the award, then he would not only be ashamed, but would also run the risk of not being considered for the Nandi awards," said a source.
Another complaint is that Tollywood filmmakers hardly bring out good work. Director Radhakrishna Jagarlamudi of "Vedam" fame however, feels otherwise. "I don't accept that bad films are the reason why we get left out at the national arena. We do make good films, but what can one do if they don't even consider our
work as worthy of competition," he asks, hinting at the dropping of his own film from the shortlist. "I won much critical acclaim for my movie. I made a good film and was confident it would get noticed," says Jagarlamudi. RP Patnaik also echoes the same sentiment. disappointed that his film was not nominated for any award, he says, "Mine was a message-oriented film — corruption, the main social evil today, was the focus of my film," he said, adding sarcastically that it's not enoughif one does good work anymore; one also has to take
time out and lobby for awards. "It's a sad situation. Telugu films are neglected even though we are the second largest film industry in India, second only to Bollywood," he added. Director Sunil Kumar Reddy says the Telugu film fraternity lacks a strong representative in the capital. "Only a person who got a National award is qualified to be in the jury. Considering we didn't win many awards in the past few years, our representative is
missing. If this trend continues, there won't be any Telugu presence at all soon," he says. Director Chandra Siddharth, who represented Tollywood as a jury member last year, said, "When I was there, the committee told me that very few Telugu films were being sent for consideration when compared to other language films." -TOI



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