Owing to the exorbitant price rates of digital projectors fixed by digital service providers, the Tamil Film Producers’ Council has decided to go on an indefinite strike beginning March 1. The council has announced that there will be no new film releases in theatres across Tamil Nadu starting March 1.
In a statement to the media, the Tamil Film Producers Council (TFPC) said, “We have told the Digital Service Providers for many years in person and in writing to reduce their exceedingly high prices, but they don’t seem to want to listen to our woes. Thus, the south Indian film industry – including Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Kerala – will protest against them until our requests are fulfilled. We have unanimously decided that no films will screened in theatres.”
The announcement by the Tamil producers’ body follows a similar call for strike by the Telugu producers’ association.
The statement went on to say that the issue was discussed earlier by the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce on February 1. “Alternative to Digital Service Providers were also explored,” the Tamil Film Producers Council said.
Interestingly, the statement also mentions that all Tamil film producers are in this together. With the President of the TFPC Vishal facing increasing criticism in his role as head of the council as well as his entry into politics, this line appears to be significant.
In July last year, the theatres in Tamil Nadu called for a strike against the state imposing 30% local body tax in addition to the 28% GST. The strike lasted for four days before the state government gave in to their demand to roll back the additional municipal tax.
Ahead of Deepavali last year, TFPC went on yet another strike regarding ticket prices in the state.
On October 7, the Tamil Nadu government had in a GO issued by the Home (Cinemas) Department, decided to increase the base fare of tickets in theatres across the state.
Following the strike an agreement was reached upon where multiplexes across Tamil Nadu could charge a maximum of Rs 150 and a minimum of Rs 50, AC single screens can charge a maximum of Rs 100 and a minimum of Rs 40, while non-AC single screens can charge a maximum of Rs 80 and a minimum of Rs 30.