TFPC president Vishal on ongoing Kollywood impasse: 'Not a strike, we're revamping the industry'
Addressing reporters in Chennai, which marks the 30th day of the ongoing Kollywood strike, Vishal, president of Tamil Film Producers Council, has said that the stalemate will continue until all the demands of producers are fulfilled.
Addressing reporters in Chennai on Friday (30 March 2018), which marks the 30th day of the Kollywood stalemate, Vishal, president of Tamil Film Producers Council (TFPC) and secretary of South Indian Artistes Association (SIAA), has said that the strike will continue until all the demands of producers are fulfilled.
"Once again, I would like to reiterate that we are revamping the industry. I won't call it a strike. Although our fight was against the digital service providers (DSPs) initially and VPF (Virtual Projection Fee) was the significant issue, now we find it necessary to undertake several reformative measures for the betterment of the industry and the stakeholders involved. We want the theatre-going experience of movie buffs to be affordable. Now, an online booking fee of Rs 30 is charged for each ticket, and it is nothing but an extra burden on moviegoers. At a time when footfalls are declining, we request theatre owners to get rid of the online ticketing charge to ease the movie-going experience of audiences," said Vishal.
Vishal further added, "The shutdown will continue till all our demands are met, and the no-new release rule will stay until further notice. We are left with no choice since there is no amicable solution in sight yet. It's not in our hands but the exhibitors. We are seeking transparency. We have requested them to implement computerised ticketing in all theaters in Tamil Nadu. Today, we have decided to bring the issue to the attention of Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami and the Minister for Information and Publicity, Kadambur Raju. We firmly believe that the state's intervention will resolve the standoff and bring cinephiles back to theaters. Along with all the trade bodies, we are planning to walk in procession on 4 April towards Fort St. George to present our demands. We have sought permission."
Vishal also listed out the other demands that have been communicated to the exhibitors. "The tickets should be divided into three categories: first class, second class and third class for people from different economic backgrounds. Producers are ready to take care of the mastering charges incurred on our prints. We will provide the mastered final print to theaters, and they should take care of the projectors. Once we bring in transparency through computerised ticketing, we would contemplate how to compensate losses by reducing the remuneration if movies don't perform up to the mark."
Vishal said theater owners would have to ink agreements with producers directly to screen movies. "We have seen a lot of instances where a group of brokers form a syndicate and either obstruct or minimise the release of a film in a particular territory for selfish reasons. And there are occasions where they would never repay the deposit amount paid by producers. We are putting a full stop to all of this," he said.
RK Selvamani, president of FEFSI (Film Employees Federation of South India), said the fraternity would request the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister to commission a dedicated organisation to monitor the well-being of the Tamil film industry. "We will urge the government to form Tamil Nadu Film Development Corporation, which will oversee the financial transactions involved in the business. A proper structure should be devised to facilitate all the payment transactions in white. If the heroes from Hollywood are working on a sharing basis with producers, it's because they precisely know the box-office figures of their films. In Kollywood, even the producers themselves are not aware of the share of their movies because the numbers are fudged. Computerised ticketing is the need of the hour," said Selvamani.
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