What is the prime reason behind your contest as president of Movie Artistes' Association?
Yes. There is a strong reason. Some time ago, our family faced a problem and I sought the help of the MAA to resolve it. Immediately, the then MAA president Muralimohan and other artistes including Nagarjuna, Venkatesh, Sivaji, Sivaji Raja, Srihari and several others helped us through MAA. In fact, it is MAA which helped me to reach this stage. So, I thought why should not I help others through MAA and hence the contest to the president post.
Do you think that there are loopholes in MAA?
If I say yes, it indirectly hints at criticizing the presidents who worked for the MAA all these years right from Megastar Chiranjeevi to the latest Mohan Babu. It is they who strived hard to bring certain recognition to MAA and brought it to this stage. It is not just someone coming and going to achieve something. All my predecessors did well. I too will work hard to do something beneficial to the MAA.
You gave a tremendous success with 'Stalin'. Now you have already been elected as MAA president unanimously. How do your friends and family members react to this?
Of course, everyone is happy. It is not that I was elected to the MAA as president now. I should win as a president after two years. That will be the real victory.
You are busy as a producer and also as an artiste. Do you think that MAA presidentship would be an obstacle to your career?
Never. Because, I produced 'Stalin' with Chiranjeevi as hero and may not launch another film in the next one year. I think I could do justice to this post during this one year period. At the same time, I am not very busy as an artiste. I am doing roles now and then whenever I come across a good character. In case, if I turn busy, our vice-presidents Jagapati Babu, Mallikarjuna Rao, Ayyappa P Sharma, Ali, Venumadhav and others are there to look after the affairs. I will try my best to attend to each and every problem and never try to miss any problem. That is why I contested for the presidentship of MAA.
What are your resolutions as the president of MAA?
I took charge only two days ago and hence not resolved anything so far. But, we are planning to extend pension to some 14 old and aged film artistes. We had also planned to appeal to the producerís council to give preference to local artistes in our language films. We will plan the programme in such a way that each and every artiste gets some employment and opportunity. There are so many issues which are yet to be resolved. We will do something and then come out in detail.
What about the pending files with MAA? What kind of decisions did you take on them?
I have not yet gone through the pending files. But there will be something remained pending. No problem could be settled overnight. Every one is striving hard for everything and is continuing to strive even now. We will soon announce our decision on pending issues.
It will be equal for everyone. It is wrong to call some one as a small producer and small films. All are equal before MAA. A film's budget depends on the hero they plan for their movie. And we should not categorize them as small films or big films. Moreover, Movie Artistes' Association belongs to everyone. Whoever acts in a film is an artiste and the MAA would extend equal cooperation to everyone.
What steps you are planning to take to curb piracy?
It is the job of Producers' Council. However, we will also react to it equally and came forward to arrest the piracy. You can find Mahesh Babu and other heroes who are fighting the piracy. We will extend our cooperation to each producer in this regard.
It seems you are supporting the proposal of 'Kota' by asking the producers to take locals in our language films?
Yes. We will definitely support it but not cent per cent. We will ask the Producers' Council to give preference to the locals. I will personally go and recommend roles to the local artistes if necessary. Our aim is that those who were working in the film industry should do well. Nobody should feel that he/she was neglected by the Telugu film industry. The budget of films is going enormous because of the high range of remunerations of certain heroes.
Are you planning to take any decision or action in this regard?
Everyone is talking about the hike in remuneration and budget exceeding the targets. But it is a wrong notion. Everyone knows the range and remuneration of Chiranjeevi, Mahesh Babu, Pawan Kalyan and other top heroes. Nobody is coming afresh to the industry and producing films with ignorance. Any producer will plan a hero who would fit to the subject he was planning to produce the film and how much business did the film do? At the same time, they would also plan how much budget they have to spend on a film and then go to sets. Then only the film industry would live longer. It all depends on the demand-supply principle. Everyone would follow this. That is all.
Though there are these many heroes, why the MAA failed to own a building?
There are several artistes in our State. Some of them are millionaires. They could contribute for something which would benefit the society in general. But when it comes to the construction of an office, everyone would feel that why should they contribute. Though all the artistes were busy with their regular shootings and activities, they are sparing time to participate in Star Cricket and donated money to MAA as a fund. If there are no such artistes, there is no MAA at all. Every hero and artiste is doing something for the MAA and will continue to do something. We thank every artiste on behalf of MAA in this regard.