Tamil Nadu film theatres shut down indefinitely against new GST regime, Shankar, Vishal and others express concern

The Tamil Nadu Film Chamber of Commerce have stopped screening the films in Tamil Nadu indefinitely protesting against the Tamil Nadu's government double taxation policy under the new Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime. Shankar, Vishal and other have expressed concerns.

By: Express Web Desk | Bengaluru | Published:July 3, 2017 12:25 pm
gst tamil cinema, strike tamil nadu, shankar image, vishal image New GST regime hits Tamil cinema

Adding to the dismay of filmmakers in Tamil cinema, the Tamil Nadu Film Chamber of Commerce shut down the theatres across the state indefinitely on Monday opposing the government’s decision to keep the double taxation under While all other states in the country have exempted their respective film industries from the local body tax, Tamil Nadu is the only state that has announced to maintain the status quo of 30 percent entertainment tax over 28 percent GST on the film trade.

The indefinite strike will badly hit the films that released last Friday. Actor Vishal, who is also President of the Tamil Film Producers’ Council, observed that at least seven producers will suffer huge loss due to the shutdown of theatres. He even met minister for information and publicity Kadambur Raju and discussed the concerns of the film industry. He was hoping for a favourable response from the government that would avert the theatre strike.

However, on Monday more than 1,000 theatres stopped showing films in the state threatening to inflict a huge loss on the makers of Ivan Thanthiran, which released on July 30. The distributor of the film, Dhananjayan Govind‏ and the director R Kannan were in agony over the crisis.

“I have borrowed money and produced ‘Ivan Thanthiran’. How am I going to repay if theatres are closed? This is like killing a newborn. My film has just released and this move will kill my film. I really don’t know what I should do now,” Kannan told IANS.

“#IvanThanthiran – we can only give a good film. Beyond that what can be done when the whole system is collapsing. Deeply disturbed(sic),”posted Dhananjayan on Twitter. “Until the situation is resolved, we appeal to people of TN not to watch #IvanThanthiran in Online/Pirated DVDs. Pl. encourage good cinema,” he added.

Not just Ivan Thanthiran, films that released a week before, such as Anbanavan Aradhavan Adangadhavan and Vanamagan will also incur a huge loss if the protest continues. According to reports, director Vijay is very upset as the strike has come at a time when his film, Vanamagan, finally started to receive public’s appreciation and collection at the box office.

Ace filmmaker director Shankar also called out on the double taxation of the Tamil Nadu government. “48-58%.. too much tax.. save Tamil cinema,” director of Rajinikanth’s 2.0 tweeted.

The filmmakers in the Tamil film industry have greatly compromised on the contest and titles to receive the tax benefit from the state. Before GST, films with Tamil titles and a clean ‘U’ certificates were exempted from the local body tax. In addition to losing the tax benefit, the film trade now will be paying around 58 percent under the new tax regime. While under the new GST policy, the audience will pay Rs 118 for a movie ticket priced at Rs 100, in Tamil Nadu, the movies goers have to dole out Rs 148.

“#TN govt punished Tamil Cinema for years with #Ucertificate and bribes for #TaxFree & Tamil title scams. Now they want 30% + #GST ? #shame (sci),” tweeted actor Siddharth. “The #TamilFilmIndustry must stand united. We are being played by this center-state confusion. #GST is one nation one tax! No exceptions!”

The buzz is in the light of new challenges, the producers’ council is also contemplating exploring other revenue streams like releasing the films on DTH.

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