Tamil Film Producers' Council strike: A boon or a bane?
The Tamil Film Producer’s Council will go on strike this May 30, and as per its newly elected President Vishal, the entire industry and its workload will go on an indefinite strike for a number of reasons. The terms are quite straightforward on the same problems plaguing Kollywood for a long time; Rise in ticket prices, GST implementation and most importantly, fighting against piracy.
The Impact The proposed strike has sent the whole industry on a frenzy, movies scheduled for release, marketing campaigns, technical background work. Everything will go for a toss as this strike will mean “Complete Shutdown of Operations” that include screening films, shooting, release and what not. Jayam Ravi's Vanamagan was scheduled for a May 19 release initially. However, the producers have now pushed it to June 23. The release dates of various audio launches, first looks and teasers are expected to be shuffled over the next few days.
The implementation of GST will pave way for uniform taxation, removing various loopholes that lead to corruption. The entertainment tax which holds at 30% in major cities will be levied at 18% flat. The ticket prices at Rs 120 have been the same for almost a decade is expected to raise to around Rs 130-140, which is good news for theatre owners, distributors and producers. But the biggest battle that Vishal echoed is against Piracy, to be more precise against “Tamil Rockers”. He urges the state and central governments to take adequate steps in curbing piracy. The TFPC is confident that the strike will restructure the way Kollywood works and the outcome will see transparent box office collection reports without inflation.
The timing of the strike is a major concern for many theatre owners and the theatre owners' association has also confirmed that they will not participate in the strike as it'll drastically affect their business. May-June has always reaped good rewards with the extended holiday season and such a strike might impact trade in a big way. Many still feel that instead of worrying on GST, ticket prices and other means to profitability, the leading heroes' should be made flexible like how it is in Bollywood. The biggest loss is going to be ‘no tax exemption’ for Tamil titled films.
Although this is an interesting stance taken by the TFPC, as the May 30 deadline approaches we can expect many more announcements from film makers, theatre owners, distributors and technicians.