Telugu cinema, also known by its sobriquet Tollywood, is the segment of Indian cinema dedicated to the production of motion pictures in the Telugu language, based in Film Nagar, a neighborhood of Hyderabad. As of 2018, it is the second largest film industry in India after Bollywood in terms of box office collections and footfalls, and the largest in terms of number of theatrical releases.
Since 1909, film maker Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu was involved in producing short films and travelling to different regions in Asia to promote film work. In 1921, he produced the first Telugu silent film, Bhishma Pratigna. He is cited as the father of Telugu cinema. 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.