The last hurdle for Ilayathalapathy Vijay’s upcoming film Mersal has been cleared after the Tamil Nadu Producers Council and the state government arrived at a compromise on Friday. On October 7, the producers’ council imposed an embargo on new Tamil film releases protesting the government decision to levy 1 percent tax on Kollywood films, in addition to 28 percent GST.
The filmmakers demanded the local body tax be completely abolished. However, after negotiating with Chief Minister Edappadi Palaniswami on Friday, the producers’ guild settled for 8 percent local body tax. And it has also announced the new regulated ticket prices in Tamil Nadu. The 20 percent local body tax on non-Tamil films, however, is still in place. “We have requested the government to consider reducing the tax on films of other languages. To which they said it was under consideration,” TFPC President Vishal told the media after the meeting with the chief minister.
According to new regulations, multiplexes in Tamil Nadu can charge a maximum of Rs 150 and a minimum of Rs 50, AC single screens can charge a maximum of Rs 100 and a minimum of Rs 40, while non-AC single screens can charge a maximum of Rs 80 and a minimum of Rs 30. The new price slabs will come into effect from Diwali. The audience should henceforth have to shell out about Rs 206 to watch a Tamil film at multiplexes, while the ticket prices may be more than Rs 220 for other languages.
“All stakeholders, including theater owners, will have to follow the new ticket regulations and I’m very confident,” said Vishal. “Audience don’t have to pay more at ticket counters than the rates fixed by the government.”
He said the producers’ council will work along with the government to ensure that the new regulations are being followed across single and multiplex screens.
“Mersal and another film will release along with films of other languages on Diwali,” Vishal confirmed.
Earlier, the government had announced 10 percent and 20 percent local body tax on Tamil and non-Tamil films. However, after the protest of Tamil fraternity, the government revised the base price of the ticket for the first time in 10 years. Movie ticket prices were capped at Rs 120 earlier.
The strike affected a few new films, including Dulquer Salmaan’s Solo. And it was also threatening to stall the release of Vijay’s much-awaited film Mersal.