News/City Updates

Vizag abuzz with filmy activity, movie shootings underway at fast pace

In a welcome development, big-ticket movie makers are, of late, showing interest in having the shootings of their upcoming projects in Vizag, raising a new hope of the city becoming a hub for film activity. After Waltair Veerayya, a part of which was shot in the beach city, producers of high-budget ventures such as Game Changer, Pushpa: The Rule, and Saindhav have included the city in the list of locales for picturising their cinemas.

A part of Game Changer, the Ram Charan starrer, was shot in the city in February this year. Shankar, who delivered hits like Gentleman, Premikudu, Bharatiyudu, Boys, Zeans and Sivaji, is wielding the megaphone for the big film. Similarly, Pushpa: The Rule, a sequel to Pushpa: The Rise, which created a record of sorts at the box office, is being picturised in the district. Starring Allu Arjun, the picture is directed by Sukumar.

The other movie, the crew of which is in the city, is Saindhav. Being the 75th film of Daggubati Venkatesh, the film is being produced with a high budget and the person behind the camera is Sailesh Kolanu.

Despite having picturesque locales, historical structures, a long coastline and above all good connectivity, Visakhapatnam, unfortunately, has not been the favourite choice of many a producer. Though several films like Maro Charitra, Srivariki Premalekha, Jambalakidipamba, Sagara Sangamam, Swarna Kamalam, Aadi, Aarya, and the recent C/o Kancharapalem were runaway hits, it fails to give any push to the film activity in the region. However, there was a ray of hope after the state bifurcation that the cine industry would shift from Hyderabad to the steel

city. But, no light was seen at the end of the tunnel and the scene remained unchanged.

Sops offered

At a time when none showed interest and the shifting issue was put on the back burner, the change of government in the state rekindled the hopes when Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy was firm on making Visakhapatnam the hub for cinema activity. The issue came up for discussion when a team of film personalities, including Chiranjeevi, Nagarjuna, Mahesh Babu, Prabhas, and Rajamouli met the CM in February last year on cinema ticket price rise.

During the meeting, Jagan Mohan Reddy offered a slew of sops for those who would be willing to shift to Vizag. The incentives included house sites for the artists in the city and financial aid and allotment of a site for those who come forward to build a studio. The CM also made certain offers for the movies which would be shot in the state. Against this backdrop, four big-budget movie shootings in a row in Vizag, touted to be the executive capital of Andhra Pradesh, is seen as a positive sign.

Article written by Lakkoju Nagesh Babu, senior journalist and Column Editor. 

Stay tuned to Yo! Vizag website and Instagram for more city updates.

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