Malayalam film actors association AMMA has refused to intervene in the matter

Crisis in Malayalam film industry Producers and FEFKA at loggerheads
news Thursday, January 07, 2016 - 19:29

The crisis in the Malayalam film industry persists, as the issues between the Kerala Film Producers Association (KFPA) and the Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) have not yet been resolved.  

The Association has been on strike for the last seven days and has stopped all production work, as FEFKA has demanded a wage increment of 33.5% for the technical staff.

The Association has also demanded that FEFKA should return the additional amount they received from the producers of films that released during Christmas.

Backed by the Film Chamber, the KFPA, which represents producers, exhibitors and distributors in Kerala, has claimed that the increase in payment will cause a huge financial loss to them.

According to FEFKA, a 33.5% increase in payment for poorly paid technicians would not burden the producers because as per calculations, the additional amount would come to around Rs 4 lakh per month, which would be a negligible amount considering the total budget.  FEFKA has been demanding a hike for technicians including light boys, camera assistants and costume assistants, who are currently paid very less.

“It will not come near the cost of a caravan! Moreover, these technicians work hard for more than 16 hours a day for the project and their actual labour can never be compensated with the paltry hike,” FEFKA General Secretary B Unnikrishnan told media.

Around 10 films have been affected as the producers have frozen the projects.

Meanwhile filmmaker Renjith has been expelled from KFPA, as he went ahead with his new project without abiding by the decision of the Association. Renjith began his latest movie ‘Leela’ penned by Unni R on January 1.

Director Rajive Ravi was also forced to stop the shooting of his new Dulquer Salman movie following a notice from KFPA. Ravi alleged that KFPA threatened the Chennai-based producers of his new movie.

“At a time when 100 rupees is being spent on a meal, producers are on strike against giving a daily wage of Rs 150. We have incurred a huge loss as the shooting was stopped. They have threatened the producers saying they will block distribution,” Ravi told SouthLive.

He also said that it is a protest by the capitalists to suppress the labourers.

There were demands that production costs should be reduced by cutting the wages of superstars instead of paying less to the daily-wage workers.

Some of the actors have also supported KFPA.

Actor Maniyanpilla Raju told Manorama News that FEFKA’s demand cannot be accepted because an increase of 33.5% wages at a stretch is unbearable for producers. He also said that only a few superstars are highly paid but not all.

Reports say that the film industry has incurred losses worth crores due to the standoff, in the last seven days.

Malayalam film actors association AMMA has refused to intervene in the matter.

“Let them solve the issues themselves,” AMMA president and Loksabha member Innocent told the media.

As per reports, the FEFKA has agreed to cooperate with the producers who can raise the wages by up to 20%. As a result, the average daily pay for a technician is now around Rs 100.



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