A kind reader with excellent research skills sent these photographs of a Filmfare article from 1963. If you click on the pictures below you should be able to see the full sized version and zoom in to read about the early years of this wonderful industry. If you’re observant you will spot a hand that may belong to our film historian/spy. The story starts in 1931 with ‘Bhakta Prahlada’, made by H.M Reddi and a troupe of Telugu stage artists who travelled to Bombay as there were no studios in the South. It also covers Vauhini Pictures and Vijaya Productions who made classics including Mayabazar and Missamma and provides some detail of the classical and mythological inspiration behind many successful films. I loved reading about the early cinemas and the ingenuity of film makers in an era before fancy technology. If you still need persuasion to see some vintage Telugu cinema, this may do the trick: “Telugu film has not only emerged as a powerful medium of entertainment and instruction, but has also scaled new heights of artistic and technical excellence.” Or you can just enjoy some lovely stills of favourites NTR, Savitri, ANR, Jamuna, SV Ranga Rao and L Vijayalakshmi, among others.
Thank you anonymous benefactor!