The Tamil Film Producers Council has decided to expand its protest against digital service providers after the failure of many rounds of negotiations. Apart from refusing to release any new Tamil films, the council said in a recent statement that from March 16, there will be a halt to all movie shoots and post-production as well as trailer launches, promotions and advertisements for upcoming films.
The strike began on March 1 after producers’ bodies for the four South Indian film industries demanded lower virtual print fees and weekly rental fees from digital service providers such as QUBE and UFO. Digital service providers are responsible for financing and managing the equipment that is needed to screen films digitally in theatres. Companies charge a virtual print fee from producers for new releases.
While the Kannada and Malayalam film producers observed the strike for just a day, the Telugu industry called off protests last week after digital service providers agreed to reduce prices.
Tamil producers reportedly want the visual print free to be scrapped entirely. They have also demanded other changes, such as flexible ticket prices and a reduction in online booking charges. The ongoing stand-off may disrupt the releases of many big-ticket films, including Rajinikanth-starrer Kaala, which is scheduled to come out on April 27.