Tiff continues between producers and Qube ahead of Diwali
Qube Cinemas has issued a statement against Tamil Film Active Producers Association for refusing to release new films
Ever since the Tamil Nadu government announced that theatres can re-open from November 10 and function with 50 percent occupancy, Tamil Nadu film producers and digital service providers (Qube Cinema) have been at loggerheads with each other over release terms. Earlier, the Tamil Film Active Producers Association had announced that producers would not be releasing new films unless the Virtual Print Fee (VPF) collected by Qube Cinema were to be reduced.
Qube Cinema, in its latest statement, has condemned TFAPA’s decision and has accused it of exploiting this unprecedented period of struggle to gain concessions from theatres and digital service providers.
In a long statement, the digital service providers said that even after offering an enormous reduction in VPF, TFAPA was refusing to resolve the issue. “Qube Cinema had initially and proactively announced a 50% reduction in VPF, which was later amended to 60% after pressure from the TFAPA, who now insist on a complete elimination of the fees,” the statement read.
On the other hand, filmmaker Dhananjayan, a top member of TFAPA, states that the proposed Qube Cinemas reduction in price is only temporary and would not solve the matter. “The same issue happened back in 2018 and producers went on a strike for 48 days. Back then, they offered a reduction in the VPF price but it again went up after two months. Learning from the mistakes, we are now demanding a permanent solution for the issue and don’t want their temporary offer that would only last till March 2021.”
However, Senthil, the co-founder of Qube Cinemas, says making the 60 percent offer permanent would lead to an enormous loss to the service provider. “Even when we reduced the VPF by 20 percent back in 2018, it led to a huge loss. Despite that, we have come forward to this new offer considering the pandemic situation and the 50 percent occupancy restrictions. Producers should realise that the whole film industry is in terrible state and we have to come together to bring people back to theatres. It is disheartening to see this situation being exploited.”
Both sides say they hope to resolve the issue before Diwali, so new releases can be announced for the festival.