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No New Telugu, Tamil Films From March 2

The stand-off between the two began after the producers alleged that the DSPs headed by Qube and UFO charged exorbitant rates as Virtual Print Fee to screen their content.

Revathi Rajeevan | CNN-News18

Updated:March 2, 2018, 12:03 AM IST
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No New Telugu, Tamil Films From March 2
Image: REUTERS/Regis Duvignau
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Bengaluru: Intensifying the tussle between the south Indian film industry and digital service providers (DSPs) over pricing, the south Indian film producers and distributors are set to go on a strike from March 2. While the Telugu and Tamil industry will go for a complete shutdown starting Friday, Malayalam industry will go on a token strike for the day. Meanwhile, no new Kannada films will be released from March 9.

Following a third and final round of meeting between the two on February 23, the joint action committee of south Indian film industry had decided that the south Indian film producers and distributors will not be supplying their content from March 2 to the digital service providers headed by Qube and UFO.

"We are continuously negotiating with the DSPs and the strike will continue if there is no agreement. Telugu and Tamil industries will go for a complete shutdown," said Daggubati Suresh Babu, Telugu film producer and convener of the joint action committee of south Indian film industry.

The stand-off between the two began after the producers alleged that the DSPs headed by Qube and UFO charged exorbitant rates as Virtual Print Fee to screen their content. The DSPs provide their digital cinema equipment through which the movies are screened in theaters and a fee is levied on the same. The producers demanded that this fee be reduced by at least 25% while the DSPs agreed for only a single digit reduction. Their other demands included a sunset clause (agreeing to do away with the VPF after an agreed upon time) and reduce the duration of advertisements during movies neither of which were not agreed upon.

However, following the meeting, Qube's co-founder Jayendra Panchapakesan tweeted that the meeting included "dramatic price reduction". "Qube offers multiple price options in Bangalore meeting between Producers and Digital Service Providers including dramatic price reduction from 22,500 to 14,000 rupees. All offers turned down," he tweeted.




With four films slated to be released in Kannada on March 2, the Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce decided to postpone their strike.

"These producers had already publicised the release dates for their movies and we decided we'd let those release. Meanwhile, we are looking at alternate measures. If another provider comes with a fair pricing, we will go ahead with them," said NM Suresh, secretary, Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce.
| Edited by: Tarun Bhardwaj
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