Production councils of four industries- Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam in the south have decided to collaborate and not release any new films from March 1. The councils claim that the digital service producers such as UFO are charging steep fees and as such, they decided to protest against it. A statement from the Tamil Film Producer Council said that it supports other industries that are involved in the strike.
According to the statement, a meeting was held with the council members. “We have decided to back the other industries in the strike from March 1. Alternate options instead of using the services by Digital Service Providers were also discussed,” the statement read. It added that until their demands were met, there would be no new films released in March.
“The LBET by Chennai Corporation leads to double taxation, on an industry which is already reeling under the impact of high tax rates and high rates of piracy. It could as well sound the death knell of the Tamil film industry. It also goes against the ‘one nation one tax’ policy and makes the very purpose of GST redundant,” said a spokesperson to a leading daily.
The strike includes major film industries. According to reports, the producers claim to find it difficult to get profits after the introduction of GST and state entertainment taxes (LBET). Digital service providers reportedly charge a fee of Rs 10,000 per film for one week. UFO and QUBE, have issued a statement and said “We have always welcomed an open discussion from all the industries. However, they have decided to protest against us without even trying to talk to us.”
Interestingly, the strike is scheduled to be held in March, which is considered to be a dry season for the film industry.