How did a film body poll turn into a blockbuster battle? Just asking

Movie Artists Association this year turned into a bitter battle with region, caste and nationalism all being drummed up during the campaign. Photo: Manikandan R

It looked a lot like a movie set. Film stars mouthing tedious dialogues, sometimes cracking up, sometimes teary-eyed, but most of the time involving in-your-face theatrics.
Was it an action thriller or a comedy? Who all were starring?

What unfolded on Telugu TV channels over the past couple of months wasn't a trailer from remakes of Singham or Dhee but the superstars of Telugu cinema fighting it out to elect the new office-bearers of the Movie Artists Association (MAA).

Unsurprisingly, the elections to the film body took a regionally divisive turn mirroring the politics of polarisation played out before every election in the country.

The two protagonists of this action-packed thriller were actors Prakash Raj and Vishnu Manchu. With Raj deciding to quit the 26-member MAA executive body following the results for being “treated as an outsider”, the bitterness is far from over and so is the divisiveness. Raj’s exit from the MAA was followed by teary resignations of 10 members of his panel from the film body.

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