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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 30, 2007
Kerala film producers to strike from August 1
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Kerala film producers to strike from August 1

Malayalam film producers in Kerala today decided to suspend all film production in the state indefinitely from August 1 in protest against restrictions imposed on production, distribution and its exhibition by the Malayalam Cine Technicians Association Federation (MACTA).

By Juhan Samuel

Kochi (Kerala), May 30 : Malayalam film producers in Kerala today decided to suspend all film production in the state indefinitely from August 1 in protest against restrictions imposed on production, distribution and its exhibition by the Malayalam Cine Technicians' Association Federation (MACTA).

Claiming that the escalating costs of production was unacceptable, the producers said that the recent increase in the daily wages of drivers from Rs. 150 to Rs.350 per day and other costs was just beyond their control.

The MACTA, which consists of 18 unions, had earlier informed the producers that they would not be changing the cost structures for two years, said Producers Guild State Secretary Milan Jaleel at the meeting here.

It was also decided in the meeting that the producers who are in the process or in the final stage of completing a film will have to complete it by July 31 and rest of the producers will be issued no objection certificate for not producing any film after July 31.

The producers claimed that they were facing great financial distress due to the recent hikes in the cost of artist rates which was fixed without consulting the producers.

They also warned that if the costs are increased, the industry will collapse in the coming days.

The president of the producers guild said that the cost of production has increased by 200 percent, and added that it now costs around Rs.15 to Rs.18 lakh more to make a film.

A joint council meeting will be held by producers, exhibitors and distributors to further discuss other stringent actions against MACTA.

The strike has been called in the wake of the coming Onam season, which may effect the film industry. Last year, the Kerala film industry did more than Rs.10 crores of business during the Onam season.

The Malayalam movie industry once used to thrive with nearly 160 films being released annually. This has come down to less than 30 films a year.

The number of cinema theatres in Kerala has also gone down from 1,400 to less than 700 in the last five years.

The Malayalam film industry got off to a slow start in 1928, when its first film, Vikathakumaran, bankrupted its producer.

ANI

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