Qube and UFO announce 100% waiver of VPF fees for November releases; Tamil producers demand permanent solution
This has come as a surprise after Qube refused to completely waive the VPF fee in a statement yesterday
In an unexpected turn of events, digital service providers Qube and UFO have announced 100 per cent waiver of VPF fees for all films releasing in November to support producers and theatre owners.
The statement has come as a surprise as Qube had refused to completely waive the VPF fee only yesterday and had instead said they would reduce the fee by 60 per cent due to pressure from Tamil Film Active Producers' Association (TFAPA). In the newly released press release, Qube has stated, "Providing this full discount on VPF would enable producers and exhibitors to release new movies during the festive Diwali season, help kickstart cinema operations and finally get the industry back on its feet again."
However, Qube has made it clear that other charges, such as the logistic charges collected for content delivery and key management, will be applicable for DCI and E-Cinema content.
Tamil film producers feel this waiver for a single month is just a gimmick and not a solution. Dhananjayan, the vice president of TFAPA says, "What Qube and UFO have announced now is only a temporary solution and this will not solve the issue. Only the producers of films releasing this month will enjoy these benefits, while the rest have to pay the high fees again. Even the 60 per cent reduction announced earlier was a temporary move. Unless they decide to cut down their VPF fees permanently, there will be no end to the problem." He adds that talks are on with the Digital Service Providers to resolve this issue and come to a conclusion about the state of new releases. "We haven't directed any producers to withhold their release, but they have themselves volunteered to do so until a permanent solution is arrived at."
In a strongly-worded statement, Bharathiraja, President of TFAPA, has compared this step of Digital Service Providers to the fake sympathy of a wolf towards a lamb. "Though we understand that the DSPs are trying to use a 'divide and conquer' strategy by offering a complete waiver for only two weeks, we still consider this a small victory. So, we have decided to go ahead with the screening of our films for these two weeks alone." He went to make it clear that post-November, when the DSPs revert to the old VPF charges, the producers will not pay it. "We are positive that we will succeed in our endeavours very soon," he added.