The new organisation for Kerala theatre owners formed by actor Dileep was officially named Film Exhibitors United Organisation of Kerala (FEUOK) on Tuesday, with a 23-member Core Committee too announced.
The association came into being under Dileep, after 64 theatre owners broke away from the deadlock created by the tussle between Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation (KFEF) and Kerala Film Producers’ Association (KFPA) over revenue-sharing.
This had led to the shutting down of 350 A-class theatres in the state, with the Malayalam film industry taking a severe hit during one of its peak seasons.
Speaking to the media at a press meet held in Kochi on Tuesday, Dileep said that FEUOK has producers, distributors and theatre- owners as its members and theatres in Kerala will hereafter never shut down for whatever reason.
While Dileep was named the president, producers Antony Perumbavoor and Bobby were named the vice-president and general secretary respectively.
Dileep who owns several cinemas in Kerala decided to take the plunge after the recent crisis, with big theatres like Carnival, Central Pictures, Aashirwad Cinemas and Shenoys soon joining him in his new venture.
FEUOK members are also scheduled to meet the state Culture Minister AK Balan on Wednesdayto discuss the formation of a Regulatory Authority to deal with issues that crop up within the industry.
Though KFEF called off their strike soon after Dileep announced his move, producers refused to give new movie prints to theatres that are affiliated to KFEF. Dileep however said that FEUOK did not intend to ban any theatres.
“The new organisation is a union formed for the well-being of Malayalam cinema which should not face a similar crisis in future. This organisation will decide the future of Malayalam cinema. It has the support of AMMA and FEFKA too," Dileep had told reporters immediately after he had first made the announcement about the new association on 14 January.