Following the Telugu film industry’s decision to hold a strike in the month of March to protest the price levied by digital service providers (who stream movies to theaters) and the cost of movie tickets, the Tamil Film Producers’ Council (TFPC) too, may show their support by shutting down theatres from March 1, 2018.
Sources say that representatives from the Telugu film industry have also invited the producers of Tamil film industry to take part in the protest.
A meeting is also said to have happened recently to discuss on this issue and if all goes well, Tamil Film Producers Council will also join hands with Telugu Film Chamber of Commerce in the protest against digital service providers.
The fundamental conflict between the producers and the digital distribution companies seems to be the Virtual Print Fee (VPF).
Explaining what the fee is, Senthil Kumar, co-founder, Qube Cinema Technologies, said it includes the total cost of hiring, installing digital equipment, operational activities and delivery.
In December last year, it was reported that the Telugu Film Chamber of Commerce had been contemplating a shutdown for a while. Muthyala Ramdoss, General Secretary of TFCC had told Deccan Chronicle that distributors are paying the charges for digital projection (about Rs 20,000 per week) of the film, which in actuality should be borne either by the exhibitor or DSPs because the latter is installing the equipment in the premises of the former.
It’s worth mentioning that generally, March is a dry period at the box office because of the exam season so the producers feel it as the right time for strike and if things are settled in favor of them, summer biggies will be benefitted.