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Renaissance for Udaya Studio

Staff Reporter

New complex to be opened in Alappuzha tomorrow

— PHOTO: by special arrangement

REBIRTH: The entrance of the erstwhile Udaya Studio, which is under renovation to be revamped into the Uday Soorya Hi-Tech Film City, at Pathirapally in Alappuzha.

ALAPPUZHA: Can a new movie studio complex change the way the Malayalam film industry functions? Well, that is what the trio behind the Uday Soorya Hi-tech Film City, the new avatar of the erstwhile Udaya Studio, believes.

The new studio complex, which will be declared open at Pathirapally here on Thursday, will also bring a major chunk of the film industry’s activities back to Alappuzha, as it was during the heydays of Udaya Studio, they say.

Today, Malayalam film industry is a poor performer. We are saying this after a comprehensive study of facts and figures. The Kannada, Marathi and Bengali films have overtaken Malayalam when it comes to technology and expertise and in turn, box office collection. Many of our theatres have switched over to screening only Tamil, Hindi or English films, mainly because of the technological superiority, Kailas Rao, one of the three who are behind the emergence of Uday Soorya, told a press conference here.

It is not just technology or lack of good films that is hampering the Malayalam film industry. Our State imposes a 35 per cent tax on films. Subsidies are not offered and the industry’s benefits are not passed on, unlike in other States where sales tax concessions and subsidies are offered, Mr. Rao points out, adding that good old names like Cherupushpam Studios, or Merryland and Uma too had virtually ceased to function.

Our filmmakers, artistes and technicians have either migrated to other States or depend heavily on studios in other places like Chennai or Hyderabad, he states.

This is where Uday Soorya can make a difference, according to Mr. Rao’s partners Raju J. Vayalath and Sudheer Babu. We will offer a complete solution to modern motion picture producing needs, including floor settings, special effects, sound effects and all other technical requirements, again as user-friendly, cost-effective and readily available facilities. Work on five to six films can simultaneously take place here, they say.

Just like Udaya Studio began in 1947 with a small tele-film, Swamy Saranam, Uday Soorya too will begin with a home production, a mega television serial, Parasuraman. The studio, built at a cost Rs.10 crore, will also have the State’s first processing lab apart from a cinema museum.

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