The ongoing strike in Kollywood over South Indian cinema came to an end on Tuesday evening after the Tamil Film Producer Council, Theatre owners and the Digital Service Providers had reached an agreement.
The discussion presided by Tamil Nadu ministers KC Veeramani and Kadambur Raju had led to a the strike being off and new films are set to hit screens this Friday.
One of the major bones of contention, the payment of Virtual Print Fee, has been slashed to Rs 250 per show from Rs 290 for E Cinema. Confirming the same, Jayendra Panchapakesan, co-founder Qube Technologies said, “The per show cost has been reduced from Rs 290 to Rs 250 capped at Rs 5,000 per week. For a full-time license in E Cinema, the cost has been fixed at Rs 10,000. Acknowledging the insistence of the theatre owners to end the strike, we have reduced the prices even though it doesn’t bode well for us. These rates would be tested for 6 months. There has been no change in the D Cinema prices,” he said.
The other demands of the TFPC which include computerisation of ticketing, flexible ticket pricing, reduction in online booking charges have also been met. Vishal who met the press after the meeting said, “The most important aspect is as per our request Tamil Nadu government has ordered all the theatres to go fully transparent from June 1. A Government Order will be passed soon on this. Ticket prices will become flexible depending upon the scale of the film – small and big movies. Each film’s ticket price will be decided, as per the film’s value and scale.”
Vishal further added that TFPC will introduce a booking site which will only charge a negligible amount for booking tickets online. The president of TFPC, he also said the council will take mastering of content into their own hands. There will also be a release regulation committee in place to ensure that at least 3 films are accommodated without hassles in procuring screens.
While grapevine is abuzz that Mercury is most likely to be the first film to hit the screens, SR Prabhu said the official announcement will be reached only by Wednesday evening. “The announcement about film releases will be made by the evening. For the online ticketing portal and flexible ticketing, we will sit with the government to sketch out an enforcement plan,” he said.