Many new films slated for releases this weekend have suffered because of the bandh call
given by the south-Indian film industries from March 2 in protest against digital service providers.
About 2,000 theatres in the two Telugu states are not screening movies in response to the shutdown call given by South Indian Film Producers' Council. And with exhibitors and distributors, and digital service providers (DSPs) failing to reach an agreement on the Virtual Print Fee (VPF) even after two rounds of talks in Chennai and Hyderabad, the shutdown is likely to continue for two more days, though screening of non-Telugu films is being allowed from today in AP and Telangana.
All the four film industries of the South are striking against the charges being collected by Digital Service Providers. Theatres across south India on Friday put out a board that reads, "As per the decision of the South Indian Film Industry Joint Action Committee (SIFIJAC), all the producers, exhibitors and distributors will jointly be taking part in a protest from March 2 against the exorbitant amounts being charged by the digital service providers, and there will be no movie screenings in theatres. We request the audiences' co-operation in this regard."
The allegation is that the DSPs charge a one-time fee for Hollywood films and a nominal fee for Bollywood movies, but when it comes to movies in the regional languages, they collect huge VFAs from the exhibitors.