No Telugu films in Tamil Nadu from Monday
Currently Rangasthalam is running across theatres in Chennai and Chal Mohana Ranga is slated to release this Thursday
For over a month now, the Tamil Film Producers Council has been observing an indefinite strike in protest against the exorbitant Virtual Print Fee (VPF) levied by the Digital Service Providers (DSPs). No Tamil films have seen the light of the day during this time, and furthermore, the shooting and post-production work of films have also come to a grinding halt.
In a new development, the Telugu Film Producers Council, in a show of solidarity, has now announced that it will stop the screenings of Telugu films across Tamil Nadu from March 9 (Monday). The first film to get affected is Ram Charan-starrer Rangasthalam which has set cash registers ringing in Tamil Nadu. The film collected Rs 25 lakh on its first day -- the biggest opening day collection for any Telugu film in Tamil Nadu.
Y Ravi Shankar, one of the producers of the film, expressed displeasure about the strike. “Following a letter from the Tamil Film Producers Council, the Telugu Film Producers Council has agreed to stop the screening of Rangasthalam in Tamil Nadu from Monday. While we understand the gravity of the issue, it should be noted that it's been a week since our film released. The collections have been phenomenal in all the released centres including Tamil Nadu. By next week, our film will become the third highest grosser of Telugu cinema," he said. "When successful films have become such a rarity, we urge the Tamil producers to take note of this and to allow screening of our film." To such effect, the Chennai distributor of the film initiated talks with the Tamil Film Producers Council and sought exemption from the strike, but the request was denied. "We also met P Kiran, President of the Telugu Film Producers Council, on Tuesday with our concerns but nothing has changed. We hope for a resolution soon.”
Venkat, the Tamil Nadu distributor of Rangasthalam, while aggrieved, acknowledged why this move was taken. "It is sad that the film will be out of theatres from Monday, but at the end of the day, it is important to look at the greater good. We are more than happy to be in solidarity with the Tamil cinema industry. As a distributor, I haven't lost money on Rangasthalam, and I am grateful for that."
SR Prabhu, Treasurer, Tamil Film Producers Council, refused insinuations that the Telugu Film Producers Council was pressurised. "Both our industries were in agreement that they wouldn't release Telugu films here as long as the strike was in place, and before Rangasthalam released, this was the status quo. We simply brought it to their attention that this film got released here, and they assured us that Rangasthalam would get taken out and also that Telugu films will not be screened from Monday." Prabhu added, "All Telugu films affected by the strike will be given a window for re-release once the strike gets called off."