Happy Friday! We know Hollywood and we know Bollywood but it turns out that Hyderabad is about to become the biggest film-producing city on the planet. (Why the T in Tollywood? It’s the center of Telugu language filmmaking.)
This increasing technical competence is part of what has begun to set Tollywood apart in Indian film, exemplified by the two-part blockbuster Baahubali, filmed at Ramoji, where some of the sets remain as a tourist attraction. Baahubali: The Conclusion is the second highest-grossing Indian film in history, and both parts used visual effects (VFX) to an extent and with a complexity not previously seen in Indian film. Although a number of studios were involved, the main players were based in Hyderabad.
The Guardian mentions two factors helping Hyderbad’s film industry grow: access to a lot of software and developer talent (Hitec City is a basically a tech who’s who, with loads of European and American tech company offices), and linguistic flexibility.
Which makes me think of the people in the US who flip out when they see a Spanish sign. In Hyderbad you will see signage everywhere in Telugu, Hindi, and English, and there are lots of Indians from other parts of the country there where other languages are spoken. So there’s Hyderabad – big (it’s about to attain megacity status with a population over 10 million), chaotic, and dynamic.
I’m putting Ramoji Film City as something to see on my next trip.