The Malayalam film industry, riding past a string of box office crashes, With the Kerala Film Producers Association already on boycott, another important stakeholder in the entertainment industry the Exhibitors Wednesday threatened that if the present crisis is not solved, they would close down all theatres from May 1. Why this crisis hit the film industry is? it blaming game by one craft to another craft. Week back the distributors and producers halting the production and fresh releases. The production of new films will not be sanctioned but the shooting and production work of films already started will go on. On the one hand the Film Exhibitors Association Kerala (FEAK) and the Film Distributors Association of Kerala are feuding over sharing the proceeds while on the other Kerala Film Chamber and the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) are at loggerheads over restrictions imposed on the artistes. A leading light of the Producers Association: �Prohibitive costs of film production have left us with no option but to withhold permission for new films until a more viable production regime came into being. The main reason is the remuneration for super stars. Lending another dimension to the crisis, the Kerala Film Chamber (KFC) has demanded that stars, including actors and singers, should stop taking part in reality shows and other shows meant for Malayalam television channels, Says G Suresh Kumar. Distributors and producers want a crackdown on other language films (OLF) like Tamil, English and Hindi films are eating the collections of Malayalam films. �From April 16, we are imposed the release of any new films in Kerala unless our terms and conditions are accepted by the theatre owners, this ban is continues. We have also made it clear that other language films (OLF) can release in Kerala only two weeks after its worldwide release�, Says Siyad Kokker, president of FDAK. The Film Chamber ban on artistes is to come into force on May 1. Now these saga exhibitors join to shut theatres from May 1, Producers and exhibitors have decided to boycott actors and singers who continue to anchor TV programmes after May Day. Ever one in the film industry the threading others. Finally who will take response for this situation? The daily vase industry workers are suffering. Says singer K G Marcos: �I havent got a film song to sing in the past four years. Those like M G Sreekumar are getting a maximum of three songs a year and the remuneration is never more than Rs 25,000 for a song. Can you live for a full year with a mere Rs 75,000?� asks Marcos. But resentment is brewing among artistes. Sreekumar said he would prefer to live with whatever he was getting from the TV shows if the Chamber was serious. He is busy doing programmes with several channels. He points out that TV award nights and reality shows are not the reason for the audience to keep away from cinemas but the lack of good movies has been a deterrent. Last year 78 films were made, of which six raked in profits. A superstar�s film costs more than Rs 3.50 crore and the remuneration is one of the biggest expenses. Producers want a cap on the length of raw film to be used besides a reduction in the number of crew from 150 to 80. A major crisis hit the Malayalam film industry in 2004 when the Kerala Film Chamber and AMMA locked horns over restrictions imposed on the artistes by the producers, citing that their off-screen appearances undermined the industry revenue. The row was settled with the mediation by the state government. Liberty Basheer, president of the Exhibitors Federation, asked what is the use of keeping the theatres open if no films are being produced?. This present stalemate has to end and it has to end at the earliest. There is going to be a meeting of the Kerala Film Chamber April 24 and we expect this issue would be taken up, Basheer said. The chamber is the body of producers, distributors and exhibitors of the Malayalam film industry. The producers association is cut up with the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) because despite two rounds of talks with them last year to bring down the cost of production, no concrete steps were taken by AMMA. The producers association hence decided that no new films would be produced. We think, now State government will enter and settle down the all issues raised by industry bodies. Let�s hope Malayalam film goers will enjoy with their stars performing in the entire medium.
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