No new movie release in Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh
Producer and distributor Daggubati Suresh Babu confirmed that the Telugu film industry will be going on a strike from March 2 against the high Virtual Print Fee levied by Digital Service Providers.Updated: Mar 01, 2018 20:31 IST
Starting Friday, cinema halls in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh will stop screening films indefinitely demanding reduction of a levy called the Virtual Print Fee (VPF), levied by the Digital Service Providers (DSPs) for southern regional language movies.A decision to this effect was taken at a meeting of the South Indian Film Producers Council held in Hyderabad on Thursday. The states affected by the decision are Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. In Tamil Nadu, producers are on a strike from March 2 and will not release any new films.
What is VPF and why are the producers affected? Read here
A token shutdown by the Kerala film industry will taken place on Thursday and the Karnataka film industry launch the strike from March 9.
“The shutdown will continue till the DSPs bring down the VPF and eventually make it zero for southern regional language films on par with English movies,” Council convenor and famous producer and distributor Daggubati Suresh Babu told the media.
Distributors and producers of the five states decided to form a joint action committee (JAC) to continue their agitation against the alleged adamant attitude of the DSPs such as UFO Moviez and Qube Cinema Technologies and PXD in continuing the VPF, ever since the technology of film screening changed from celluloid prints to digital format via the satellite.
According to Suresh Babu, the DSPs had been charging exorbitant amount of Rs 22,500 per screen for the VPF for a regional film. Since the DSPs have monopolised the technology, they have been charging hefty fee which had become a big burden for the distributors. “As per the agreement, the DSPs are supposed to phase out the VPF gradually and bring it down to zero. But they are not doing it,” he alleged.
He said the DSPs are also charging a hefty fee for screening advertisements and trailers. “We are open for negotiations. Depending on the response of the DSPs, we shall decide on our future course of action,” Suresh Babu said.
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