Film's business depends on lead cast: Director Teja

Director Dharma Teja, who had trouble finding a distributor for his upcoming Telugu romantic-comedy "1000 Abaddalu", says the business of a film also depends on the lead actors. The director has roped in Ram Shankar, brother of director Puri Jagannadh, and Mumbai-based newcomer Esther Noronha in the film, which will be released under his home banner Chitram Movies in July. "Distributors were not even ready to buy my film because I have relatively new faces as my lead actors. Even reputed music composers refused to work with me for the same reason. This proves that lead actors are also important for the business of a film," Teja said. "Distributors focus on the lead cast because a star or a familiar actor pulls more crowd than a good film with a relatively new face," he added. Are quality films being compromised? "Good films with newer lead cast only get released when a big production house releases it under its banner. Most of these films run merely on positive word-of-mouth over a course of time. But, distributors want to make profits as quickly as possible and therefore back films with known faces," said Teja. "Today, rarely do we see films run more than a week. You might see films running into the second week, but they would be competing with a new release because we have films releasing almost every week. This means the opening week is very crucial for business of cinema," he added. Teja is known for introducing actors such as Reema Sen, Kajal Agarwal and Nithiin Reddy who went on to become successful stars. He, however, feels the times have changed. "I introduced several actors who are stars today, but I believe it's not the same anymore because everything has changed so much. A film with newcomers may likely end up in the cans or won't run more than a week at the box-office," rued Teja, whose last film "Neeku Naaku Dash Dash" was also with newcomers. How did you raise funds for "1000 Abaddalu"? "We didn't have money for audio launch and that's when producer Suresh Babu came to our rescue. He watched the film, liked it and paid some amount to help us. We are now all set to send our film for censors soon," he said.

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