In 1933, East India Film Company has produced its first Indian film, Savitri in Telugu. The film was based on a popular stage play by Mylavaram Bala Bharathi Samajam, directed by father of the “Telugu theatre Movement” Chittajallu Pullaiah and cast stage actors Vemuri Gaggaiah and Dasari Ramathilakam as “Yama” and “Savithri” respectively. The film was shot with a budget of estimated ₹1 million (US$15,000) in Calcutta. The blockbuster film has received an honorary diploma at the 2nd Venice International Film Festival.
The first film studio in South India, Durga Cinetone, was built in 1936 by Nidamarthi Surayya in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh. The 1951 film Patala Bhairavi was the only South Indian film screened at the first India International Film Festival, held in Mumbai on 24 January 1952. CNN-IBN listed Patala Bhairavi (1951), Malliswari (1951), Devadasu (1953), Mayabazar (1957), Nartanasala (1963), Maro Charithra (1978), Maa Bhoomi (1979), Sankarabharanam (1979), Sagara Sangamam (1983), and Siva (1989), among The 100 Greatest Indian Films of All Time. In the years 2005, 2006, 2008, and 2014 the industry has produced the largest number of films in India, exceeding the number of films produced in Bollywood.
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