Tamil cinema strike off; shooting to resume from tomorrow
The Tamil cinema industry strike which began on March 1 has finally come to an end with the tripartite talks today
The strike that had paralysed the Tamil cinema industry from March 1 has finally come to an end with the tripartite talks between the Tamil Film Producers Council, Digital Service Providers and the Tamil Nadu Theatre Owners Association, in the presence of ministers Kadambur Raju and K C Veeramani, yielding positive results. With no Tamil films getting released from March 1, there are over 45 films awaiting release, and with production being stopped completely from March 16, tens of thousands of people have been out of work, and over a thousand screens in the state have had no new Tamil content during this time.
After the meet today, Vishal, President, TFPC, announced that most of their demands have been agreed to, including computerised ticketing and box office transparency, flexible ticket pricing, and significant reduction in online booking charges. He shared that TFPC will also start its own portal for online booking of tickets.
Among the breakthroughs achieved include the reduction of DSP charges as follows: E Cinema, which charged over Rs 10,000, will charge Rs 5,000, while the one-time VPF (Virtual Print Fee) charged for a film's lifetime run, which was earlier charged at over Rs 20,000, will come down to Rs 10,000.
SR Prabhu, Treasurer, TFPC, expressed delight at the outcome, and said that this is the first time in India that VPF has been brought this low. He added, "The 50 per cent reduction in VPF is for E-cinema, and 16-23 per cent for D-Cinema. In six months, we have been asked by the TN government to come up with a permanent solution for VPF. Producers will be forming a panel to regulate the release of the films in backlog, and we will announce those details tomorrow."
Tirupur Subramaniam, distributor and head of the Joint Action Committee, was happy too. "Comprehensive computerised ticketing will finally be a reality, and the government will pass a GO on that within the next 60 days. Similarly, we have got the go-ahead for flexible ticket pricing. Since 150 is the maximum allowed ticket price, theatres will charge differentially for small (50, 75, 100) and big films (100, 125, 150), after informing the collector/commissioner (based on whether the theatre is in the mofussil regions or in city limits). It is completely up to us to charge what we want to. In the next six months, we hope to come to a resolution about VPF with the DSPs. We are grateful to the TN government for solving this, and are happy that the strike is now at an end."