Chiranjeevi on Covid-19’s impact on Telugu film industry: ‘Can’t estimate the losses right now but we will bounce back strongly’
Chiranjeevi, who has been leading from the front in providing relief to daily wage earners of the Telugu film industry, said early on he realised that large gatherings could be dangerous and hence cancelled Acharya’s shoot.Updated: Apr 12, 2020 15:39 IST
Actor Chiranjeevi, who has admitted that Telugu film industry has suffered losses worth hundreds of crores due to the coronavirus pandemic, is confident that the industry will bounce back strongly when all this is over. In his latest interview with Deccan Chronicle, he has opened up how coronavirus pandemic has crippled Telugu industry and what will be the way forward.
When news about coronavirus pandemic was making headlines a few weeks ago, Chiranjeevi was the first Telugu actor to cancel shootings. “I read about this virus and how it was spreading very fast in other countries. I realised that gatherings of people should be avoided. I discussed the issue with my director Siva, and he agreed, so I called off the shooting of Acharya. That same evening, the government announced that multiplexes and theatres should be closed,” he was quoted in the interview.
Even since the lockdown, Chiranjeevi has been leading from the front to help daily wage employees via Corona Crisis Charity, a committee set up to attend to the needs of daily labourers. “I discussed with a few people from the industry and they were ready to help. When I announced the ‘Corona Crisis Charity’, many actors, producers and others responded immediately and donated. Since we couldn’t go out, we took the help of people in the software industry to track the workers through their Aadhaar cards,” he said.
Telugu industry employs nearly 12,000 people. According to Chiranjeevi, “Each day we serve nearly 600 people and I am confident everyone will get the help they need.” Rice, oil and dal are being handed over to a family of four for 10 days. About 25 volunteers deliver the supplies to the doorsteps of beneficiaries.
Talking about the losses being incurred by Telugu filmdom, Chiranjeevi said: “We can’t estimate the losses right now. But I feel that it will run into hundreds of crores. I don’t know when the theatres will reopen, and when we can start shooting again. But I am confident that the cinema industry will bounce back once normality is restored.”
“After the lockdown, we will discuss how to go forward. We have to talk to the financiers too and request them to reduce the interest and help the producers. Not just the film industry, but all other industries are incurring losses,” he pointed out. “We have to stand united and overcome this situation once everything gets back to normal,” he added.
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