Trade and regulatory bodies of the Indian film industry will discuss various issues confronting it at a meeting in Hyderabad on August 26. Representatives from the Film Federation of India, South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce and trade bodies from all over the country will hold a day-long meeting to discuss several issues. The meeting is significant because film chambers of various regions or states hold different views on certain issues.
There are a lot of common issues of concern like piracy, which is affecting the entire Indian film industry that the meet will discuss apart from other important questions of conflict that the representatives would like to focus. The one big concern of the Indian film industry is the system of multiple taxation that is hitting it hard. In addition to entertainment tax, the industry is having to pay various other taxes like service tax at different levels that it feels unjustified.
Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce president D Suresh Babu told TOI on Monday that with changing technology which is facilitating making of digital movies, the issue of accountability will arise. As of now, those who make a film will have to necessarily be member of the film bodies. Only when a producer is a member of film trade bodies will he get access to hiring film workers, technicians and junior artistes. With the advent of digital cinema and making of films becoming easier for anyone, the question of making the regulatory mechanism more meaningful arises.
Of late, movies are also made with the multiplex audience in mind and this is threatening the very existence of single screens across the country. The meeting will also discuss ways of ensuring that single screens survive. It may be mentioned here that a number of single screen theatres have been closing down in the country as it is uneconomical to run them anymore because of various factors. Admission rates are also one issue that film trade bodies of some regions are concerned about.
“We want the freedom to fix the price for our product,” Suresh Babu said. In some states, like Karnataka, theatres have all the freedom to fix ticket rates as per their wish. The government, of course, has to be informed but that liberty is helping the film industry decide on admission rates that it thinks is appropriate for a film. In Andhra Pradesh, such a liberty does not exist, though a section of the industry has been trying hard to impress upon the state government the need for a similar liberty for Tollywood. There is also the issue of dubbed movies as film chambers of some languages favour it it and others oppose it.
Nearly 150 representatives of film trade bodies from the Film Federation of India, South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce, trade bodies of West Bengal, Karnataka,Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and North India will participate in the meeting.
Source: August 23, 2011, TOI