The South Indian Film Industry Joint Action Committee (SIFIJAC) on Thursday announced that they will not allow any new films to be screened in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana as their talks with digital service providers (DSPs) yielded no positive outcome.
The south Indian film industry and DSPs are involved in a long standoff over the hiked Visual Projection Fee demanded by DSPs like UFO and Qube. Producers have slammed this and called the hike unreasonable.
Although, representatives from both the film industry and DSPs tried to resolve the crisis and settle on an amicable solution, talks reached an impasse and, as a result, SIFJAC announced that they will stop the screenings of films in both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh.
SIFIJAC convener, P Kiran, in a letter to the Telangana Film Chamber of Commerce (TFCC), Telangana State Film Chamber of Commerce (TSFCC) and Exhibitors Associations wrote, “For the past one month there have been many discussions with the DSPs and they have not accepted our requests.”
SIFIJAC appealed to exhibitor members and multiplexes to cooperate in the strike even though they may incur losses.
“It is for the betterment of the south Indian film industry,” he wrote in his letter.
The strike may affect several big releases in Tollywood like Rangasthalam, starring Ram Charan and Samantha, which is slated for a March 30 release.
While the film industry claims that the exorbitant hike in the Visual Representation Fee has caused huge losses to them, distributors claim that they are incurring losses due to the high remunerations demanded by big stars and acclaimed technicians.
Presently, distributors charge Rs 22,500 per screen to producers for a regional film. Producers allege that Hollywood studios are paying half the amount for the same.
Apart from reducing the hike in fee, the producers also want the onscreen advertising be confined to eight minutes and for two film trailers to be screened along with the main film.