The Tamil Film Producers have announced that all production and post-production work will be stopped from March 16. The TFPC has refused to back down and have instead decided to continue to protest against the Virtual Print Fee charges. In a statement, the council has a listed a set of demands. First, the producer council has refused to agree to the VPF rates offered by the Digital Service Providers. They have also sought to reduce the online booking charges of tickets, pushed for flexible pricing, completely computerise ticketing system and also regularise release process to ensure small films get enough screens.
No new projects can also be launched after March 16. “The right to price a product that is being consumed by the audience should lie only with the maker of the product. It is unfair that only film producers don’t get to exercise this right,” reads the statement. The council has also said that the strike will continue until the producer has complete rights over his product.
The announcement comes as strong blow to the film ecosystem. There have been no new releases for the past two weeks due to the strike and furthermore, the theatre owners have also announced a shut down from March 16 in a protest against the government. Theatre owners have asked the government to issue a formal order that eradicates Local Body Entertainment Tax, give them flexibility with the number of seats and to increase theatre maintenance charges. They have also asked to lengthen the license renewal period to three years.
With the TFPC order further compounding the effect, it seems like it will take longer for newer releases to see the light. Numerous films such as Vishal’s Irumbuthirai, Tovino Thomas-Pia Bajpai’s Abhiyum Anuvum, Sarjun-Sathyaraj-Varalakshmi’s Echcharikai Idhu Manithargal Nadamadum Idam and Sai Pallavi’s Karu might be affected due to the shutdown.