HYDERABAD: Cinema theatres across south India, including Telangana and AP, will go on an indefinite strike from March 2. With the four south Indian film industries coming together against digital service providers, the new releases will be stopped from March 2. Representatives from all the industries — Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, and Kannada — and digital service providers (DSPs) have failed to reach a conclusion after third and final round of talks held on Friday in Bengaluru.
According to the four film industries, the DSPs who deliver content straight to theatres via satellite for digital projection, charge rates that are too high. DSPs such as Qube and UFO are alleged to charge around Rs 22,500 per screen for digital projection. This includes the cost of hiring and delivery of content via digital distribution in theatres.
“The Joint Action Committee of the Southern Indian Film Industry and Digital Service Providers have met thrice in Hyderabad, Chennai and Bengaluru. But no consensus was reached as digital service providers remained adamant on their stand. We demanded reduction in charges by at least 25 percent for now to call off the strike but they rejected this proposal. We are left with no option but to go on strike", said Mr. M. Vijayender Reddy, member of JAC.
The South Indian Film Industry has constituted a JAC to protest against the monopolistic attitude of Digital Service Providers. Nearly 5,000 theatres across South Indian states, including 2,000 in the Telugu-speaking states, will observe a bandh from March 2. The strike may affect several big releases in Tollywood like Rangas-thalam, starring Ram Charan and Samantha, which is slated for a March 30 release. In Tamil Nadu, there about 50 movies to be released in the pipeline in the next three months.