Kerala minister steps in to resolve film industry row

May 1st, 2010 - 6:52 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, May 1 (IANS) The Kerala government has finally decided to intervene in the crisis facing the Malayalam film industry, which has not seen new films being shot since April 16. Culture Minister M.A. Baby has been asked to bring the feuding groups to the discussion table to end the stalemate.
“I have been getting lot of requests from various quarters to see a solution is worked out. The film industry is a huge revenue earner for the state government and even small issues can cause huge losses for the exchequer,” Baby told IANS.

Baby said he would soon try and bring together all the concerned organisations to discuss their problems and find a way out of the impasse.

The Kerala Film Producers’ Association had April 16 decided that no new Malayalam film would be allowed to start shooting as a protest against rising production costs. The association said it had requested the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) to cut production costs but to no avail.

Apart from this, a few new films slated for release this week did not hit screens as exhibitors threatened to close down theatres if the stalemate between the producers and AMMA was not resolved.

Asked if clashing egos of the various stakeholders of the industry was the reason for the crisis, Baby said: “Ego is certainly a human problem. You and me might not have egos, but are all like us?”

The other stakeholders in the industry include the Kerala Film Chamber, which is the body of producers, distributors and exhibitors.

Then there are the two factions of the technicians association, which comprises 19 different organisations that includes drivers to directors. The two factions are the Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) and the Malayalam Cine Technicians Association (MACTA).

Thespian actor Thilakan, who was shown the door by AMMA for publicly condemning the group’s office bearers, has for long been demanding that the culture minister intervene in the matter.

“The culture department should have intervened long back. The delay has caused a lot of damage to the industry. It is important that Baby doesn’t walk into the trap of certain vested interests in the film industry. The government should have an open mind and after hearing all views, should act in a mature manner…Then the woes of the film industry has a chance to end,” said Thilakan.

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