Film shoots stalled over FEFSI strike
The strike has been called due to a standoff between FEFSI and TFPC over wage demands
The shooting of over 20 Tamil films came to a standstill across the state today as members of Film Employees Federation of South India (FEFSI) struck work to demand a revision of their daily wages. The demand has been turned down by the Tamil Nadu Film Producers Council (TFPC).
FEFSI had an altercation with producer-actor RK Suresh on the sets of his Tamil film Billa Pandi last month as its members, who were employed as technicians in the project, demanded an increase in their daily wages. When Suresh escalated the matter to Vishal, president of TFPC, the latter called off the film's shooting and suggested that technicians outside FEFSI be used for shooting.
Now, FEFSI, which comprises 24 unions of various crafts of the film industry, and has over 25,000 members, and TFPC are at loggerheads. FEFSI head RK Selvamani is spearheading the strike.
"TFPC should work with the members of FEFSI and can't use non-FEFSI members. The wage agreement for FEFSI members expired on July 31, and that's why we requested a revision in daily wages. The members should be paid new wages and until then we will be on strike," says Selvamani.
The strike has come as a big blow for over 20 Tamil films that are currently on the floors.
"The shoot of over 20 Tamil films including Rajinikanth's Kaala have been stopped. FEFSI workers are part of most Tamil films, and they have been instructed to not take part in the shootings. They have to understand it will only affect their livelihood," reveals a member of the Producers Council.
Interestingly, shoot of Vishal's upcoming Tamil crime thriller Thupparivaalan is underway in Chidambaram. Vishal reiterated that the Producers Council won't give in to the demands of the Federation.
"We are willing to work with anyone from FEFSI or even those who are not associated with the federation. The Madras High Court had restrained FEFSI from disrupting the shoot of any film. We will not give in to their demands and we stand by what we said earlier," Vishal said.