South Cinema producers no show strike
South Cinema producers no show strikeTwitter

The producers of South Indian films have decided go on a strike and stop releasing movies from March 1 to protest against Virtual Print Fee (VPF) imposed by Digital Service Providers (VSP) like UFO Qube.

The Tamil and Telugu film producers complain that the VPF charged by digital service providers has added to their woes, who are already going through a severe financial crisis due to piracy and double taxation issues following the implementation of Goods and Services Tax. They have been requesting the service providers for some years, but their pleas went unheeded, leading to the strike seeking a permanent solution to the contentious fee. 

"We have told the Digital Service Providers for many years in person and in writing to reduce their exceedingly high prices, but they don't seem to want to listen to our woes. Thus, the south Indian film industry – including Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Kerala – will protest against them until our requests are fulfilled. We have unanimously decided that no films will be screened in theatres," read a statement released recently by the Tamil Film Producers Council (TFPC).

Following this announcement, the Digital Service Providers and Southern Indian Film Industry came forward to form a Joint Action Committee together. The Committee had a meeting at the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce in Chennai to sort out various issues at 11am on February 16.

But the Committee could not arrive at a solution to the issue. Hence, the members have now decided to hold another meeting on February 23. If the Committee failed to come up with a solution once again, the producers would go for a nono-show strike, according to reports. The Committee has confirmed the news about holding another meeting. 

Idlebrain Jeevi‏, an observer of Telugu film industry, tweeted, "South Indian Film Industry Representatives will meet on 23 Feb again with digital services provides. If they come to agreements, all South Indian film theatres will be closed from 1st March to protest against VPS charged by digital providers."

Sreedhar Pillai, an observer of Tamil film industry, tweeted, "March 1 onwards it looks like there will not be any new releases from south Cinema. The strike against Digital Service Providers over Virtual Print Fee is by producers. Exhibitors unlikely to take part, as they feel total shutdown will increase audiences apathy."