No More Malayalam Films For PVR-Inox Screens, Says FEFKA

The tussle between the Malayalam Film Industry and the multiplex chain PVR-Inox seems to have escalated in the wake of the theatre chain halting the screening of Malayalam films across India.
(L To R) Sibi Malayil, Unnikrishnan And Blessy At The FEFKA Press Conference

(L To R) Sibi Malayil, Unnikrishnan And Blessy At The FEFKA Press Conference

The Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) on Saturday issued a statement that no Malayalam film will be provided for screening to any PVR-owned screen or theatre till the multiplex chain compensates producers from the industry for the loss they suffered due to PVR not screening their films across India, starting from Eid 2024.
Over the past few days, screening giant PVR-INOX had halted the screening of Malayalam films across India. This comes after a rift between them and the Kerala Film Producers Association (KFPA) and theatre owners.
Films such as director Blessy's Aadujeevitham, featuring Prithviraj Sukumaran, Aavesham, featuring Fahadh Faasil, Vineeth Sreenivasan's Varshangalkku Shesham, Manjummel Boys and Premalu, among others, won't be screened any more on PVR screens due to the dispute.
FEFKA General Secretary B. Unnikrishnan announced the decision at a press conference where noted directors like Blessy and Vineeth Sreenivasan were also present.

Dispute Over VPF

Unnikrishnan said that there was an on-going dispute between PVR and the film producers association on the issue of Virtual Print Fee (VPF).
The Virtual Print Fee (VPF) is paid to service providers, such as QUBE, for screening films in multiplexes. Kerala's producers have long opposed these fees, arguing that they significantly diminish the profits of both filmmakers and theatre owners.
However, objections were raised by PVR and INOX, leading to the suspension of screenings not only for Malayalam films in Kerala but also for their dubbed versions in other states. Unfortunately, this move adversely impacted filmmakers who had acquired dubbing rights for recent Malayalam releases, affecting their business too.
Case in point: The Telugu dubbed version of Premalu and Manjummel Boys were removed from theatres in the Telugu states.
"The producers' association decided not to give any more films to PVR's new screen at Forum Mall till the dispute is resolved," Unnikrishnan said. "As a countermeasure, PVR, with a cartel-like strategy, decided not to screen any Malayalam film on any of the theatres or screens owned by them across India. This has caused a significant financial loss as well as mental pressure to producers,” he added.

Question Of Malayalam Pride

He said that PVR did not have the courage to take such a stand in the other south Indian states but was taking unfair advantage of the Malayalam film industry's view of resolving issues democratically. "It is not just a question of the problems of the film producers; it is also a question of the pride of Malayalam cinema and Malayalis as a whole.”
"Therefore, we have decided that unless the producers are compensated for the loss they have suffered for the number of days their films were not shown, no Malayalam cinema would be given to any PVR theatre or screen anywhere. The Producers' Association too has assured us of their support," Unnikrishnan said.
Vineeth Sreenivasan, whose film Varshangalkku Shesham, was one among the movies affected by this issue, added that it was not just an issue of the producers, as it also affects all the artistes working in the Malayalam film industry.
End of Article
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