Chennai: The Tamil film Industry, which is reeling under huge financial losses due to the continuous failure of big budget movies in the recent past is staring at various factors driving the cost of production upwardly and possibilities of increasing their revenue.
Tamil film industry held a day-long token fast in the city to condemn the high-handedness of UFO & Qube makers’.
According to the Tamil Film Producers Council, the satellite-based, digital cinema distribution networks such as UFO & Qube, which are the new alternative for the lab processed film roles are fleecing the producers of exorbitant charges for using their technology to deliver the movies to theatres. Moreover, they also run in-cinema advertisements during the movies interval breaks that fetches huge revenue to them, which is also not being shared with the Producers of the movie.
The Tamil Film Producers council demands for a 50% revenue share on in-cinema advertisements and demands Rs 400 crore from UFO & Qube towards their share of the past earnings.
In this regard, various trade bodies associated with the Tamil film industry, including Nadigar Sangham (Artist Association), TFPC (The Producers Council), FEFSI (Labour Union) and the directors’ associations held a day-long fast yesterday (10th May) to protest against inconsiderate behaviour on the part of UFO & Qube.
Tamil Film Producers Council, President Thaanu said, “Most films these days are made digitally and are being screened in theatres in UFO & Qube formats.” “People who are in the business monopolise and charge exorbitant rates from producers.”
Also, without our consent UFO & Qube air advertisements at the cinema halls and make money as well. They also collect a huge amount from producers for tax purposes. But, we are not sure if they pay the tax to the government. To show our displeasure, we are going on a hunger strike.” added Thaanu.
In the meantime, the Tamil Film Producers’ Council have also announced their decision to regulate the release of big budget films to only 10 festive and special occasions.
The move by TFPC was made to ensure that small-budget films find screens for their theatrical releases and reduce the risk of high budget movies.
Accordingly, any big movie that crosses the budget of Rs15 crore will be released during the ten festive occasions listed by TFPC such as Pongal, Republic Day, Tamil New Year’s, May Day, Ramzan, Independence Day, Ganesh Chaturthi, Vijayadasami, Diwali and Christmas.
“The new rule should be implemented with effect from 1st of June,” said Thaanu.
It may be noted that TFPC had in the past made similar announcement but failed to implement it due to lack of co-operation from its members and other trade bodies of the Industry. Moreover, the method of quantifying big budget (above 15 cr budget) films has also raised a concern, as the Indusry is actually considering Rs 15 cr budget as a moderate budgeted movies only, unlike the TFPC’s stand in quantifying the category.
During their protest, the TFPC also went ahead and placed a request to the ruling state government to launch a state owned satellite based movie distribution company to protect the interest of the Tamil Film Industry.