Telugu cinema, also known by its sobriquet Tollywood, is a part of Indian cinema producing films in the Telugu language, centered on the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, based in the Hyderabad neighbourhood of Film Nagar.Since 1909, filmmaker Raghupathi Venkaiah Naidu was involved in many aspects of Indian cinema's history, like 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 produced its first Indian film, Savitri, in Telugu. Shot in Calcutta on a budget of Rs. 75 thousand, and based on a popular stage play by Mylavaram Bala Bharathi Samajam, the film was 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 blockbuster film has received an honorary diploma at Venice Film Festival.Multilingual actor Vuppaladadiyam Nagaiah was known as the Paul Muni of India, one of the influential actors of south Indian cinema, Nagaiah is regarded as the first super star of Telugu cinema.
The 1951 film Patala Bhairavi was the first South Indian film, premiering 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. The first film studio in South India, Durga Cinetone, was built in 1936 by Nidamarthi Surayya in Rajahmundry, Andhra Pradesh. 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.
The industry holds the Guinness World Record for the largest film production facility in the world. The Prasads IMAX located in Hyderabad is one of the largest 3D IMAX screens, and the most attended cinema screen in the world. As per the CBFC report of 2014, the industry is placed first in India, in terms of films produced yearly. The industry holds a memorandum of understanding with the Motion Picture Association of America to combat video piracy. Contemporary films like Dookudu (2011) and Eega (2012) have each grossed more than Rs. 100 crore (approximately 15.7 Million US Dollars) at the worldwide box office. Baahubali: The Beginning (2015) became the third globally highest-grossing Indian film of all time, and the highest grossing Indian film of all time within India.