The crisis in the Kerala film industry has been ongoing for weeks now with the Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation (KFEF) shutting down 250 A-class theatres in the state demanding more revenues.
With no sign of a compromise, 64 theatre owners lead by actor Dileep broke away and floated a new organization on Friday.
Actor Dileep, who owns several cinemas, decided to take the plunge, big theatres like Carnival, Central Pictures, Aashirwad Cinemas and Shenoys joined him.
â€śThe new organisation is a union for the well being of Malayalam cinema. Hereafter, there should not be a crisis like this. This organisation will decide the future of Malayalam cinema. The organization has the support of AMMA and FEFKA," he told media.
Dileep also said that he had spoken to Mamootty and Mohanlal before taking the decision to create a new federation.
Meanwhile, KFEF made a sudden announcement that they were calling off the strike. Federation President Liberty Basheer said that the decision as taken after the government intervened and decided to strike a compromise.
But the buzz in industry circles was that KFEF decided to take a step back after Dileepâ€™s announcement that caused a vertical split in their federation.
Dileepâ€™s federation, however, has not been named yet. "We will not name it now, we are just starting. Cinema is a product of many people's hard work. Itâ€™s a new organisation not just to solve the current issue, but to be here for a long time,â€ť Dileep said.
Liberty Basheer had earlier said they will take action against those who violated the unanimous decision.
Reacting to this Dileep said even Basheer was welcome to join his federation.
The dispute came to the fore after the Federation sought a change in the revenue sharing ratio between film exhibitors and the distributors. The ratio currently stands at 60:40 of the collections and the exhibitors want it to be 50:50, which has been opposed by the producers.
This has been the model since 2003.
The distribution of new Malayalam films has remained in limbo since last month when the Federation decided not to screen new releases but screened films in other languages.
Following the Federation's decision that they will not screen any films from Thursday in the wake of an ongoing tiff with producers and distributors, 38 of their members defied the ban and screened Tamil blockbuster 'Bhairava'. On Friday, another 17 theatres announced that they will screen films from Saturday.