Kollywood and Tollywood, the film industries of Tamil and Telugu respectively, will be uniting in a fight against digital service providers and will be going on a strike from March 1st. The fight is against the “exorbitant” prices being charged by the digital distribution companies such as Qube Cinema Technologies and UFO. Hence, there won’t be any film releasing in the theatres from March 1st.
The issue has been brewing for quite some time now with the filmmakers alleging that the money being charged is too high and is proving to be a burden on the producers. However, on the other hand, the members of the digital distribution companies claim that the prices being charged are justifiable. “What have we done wrong for the film industry? We invested a huge amount of money with a huge risk. If the theatres buy their own equipment, like Sathyam Cinemas [now S2 Cinemas], Inox or PVR Cinemas do, there is no need to pay us a fee. There are operational and maintenance costs. The spares too cost money. Somebody has to pay for the equipment for digital distribution, which has brought down per-print costs considerably,” Senthil Kumar, co-founder, Qube Cinema Technologies, was quoted as saying by The Hindu.
Also, film industries in Karnataka and Kerela have also been approached to lend support in this campaign by Kollywood and Tollywood. SR Prabhu, the treasure of Tamil Film Producers’ Council, said, “A joint meeting between the members of the four states will be held in Hyderabad. We will get clarity on this issue after the meeting.”
Reportedly, the producers have claimed that the implementation of GST (Goods and Service Tax) is affecting the collections and reducing the processing fee by the digital service providers, will reduce the burden on them.
The movie lovers hope that the issue is resolved soon with the concerned parties reaching a consensus.