Tamil Film Producers Council members sign deal with new service providers
Members of TFPC have signed a deal with a brand new DSP called Aerox, who are willing to provide service for VPF 50 per cent lower than the existing rates.
In what could be seen as a significant milestone in the month-long standoff between Tamil film producers and the existing digital service providers (DSPs) over abolition of Virtual Print Fee (which resulted in an industry-wide strike with no new Tamil films getting a theatrical release from March 1), members of Tamil Film Producers Council (TFPC) recently signed a deal with a brand new DSP called Aerox.
Members of TFPC had been wanting to bring in fresh digital service providers to the market for quite some time now.
At a glance
Producers had been paying the VPF towards theatre projector equipment belonging to DSPs (Qube or UFO in this case). Lately, though TFPC members alleged they were forced to pay the fee instead of the theatre owners.
However, SR Prabhu, treasurer of TFPC, says, “The strike is far from over. Abolition of virtual print fee amounts to only one of our demands. We are yet to receive communication on the reduction of online booking charges, implementation of flexible ticket pricing, and the formation of Tamil Nadu Film Development Corporation to regulate production counts.”
“For now, we have partnered with this new DSP called Aerox, as they offered a rate which is 50 per cent lesser than what was charged all these years as VPF. Aerox now has e-cinema projectors in about 35 theatres in Tamil Nadu. TFPC will start giving content to them as soon as the strike is called off. The owners of these theatres are happy that this new DSP has taken 50 per cent on its head. Talks are currently going on with other theatre owners.”
“Also, TFPC is looking to partner with few more DSPs, the details of which will be revealed soon. All these don’t mean that we are completely bypassing QUBE or UFO. Given this new association with Aerox, we believe that we will be in a better position to bargain in the future tripartite discussions with QUBE/UFO and the theatre owners. As we await information about the dates for the next round of tripartite talks, the release of thirty-odd films still hangs in the balance,” he adds.
(With inputs from Arunkumar Shekar)