Rival groups claim victory in Malayalam film industry feud

June 26th, 2008 - 7:44 pm ICT by IANS  

Kochi, June 26 (IANS) An apex trade union body, the Indian Film Employees Confederation (IFEC), has decided to form an ad-hoc committee and conduct fresh elections to a Malayalam film industry association, which split into two early this month, plunging Kerala’s film industry into crisis. The decision was taken at the end of a two-day meet of IFEC in Chennai late Wednesday evening. A committee, with five members from both rival groups, would oversee fresh elections in three months time after verifying the electoral list.

Kerala’s film industry has been in a flux after a feud between MACTA, the leading technicians’ organisation, and the powerful actors’ organisation, Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA).

The MACTA comprises 19 organisations that represent all those associated with filmmaking, from drivers to directors besides script writers and professionals from every field. Most producers, actors and actresses owe allegiance to AMMA.

Both the rival factions claimed victory after IFEC meeting Wednesday.

“We welcome this decision and we will cooperate whole heartedly with the proposed committee. Till the elections, the body would be run by the committee consisting of five (people) drawn from the two factions along with members from the apex body,” said MACTA general secretary Vinayan.

But a leading Malayalam actor, on condition of anonymity, said after the IFEC meet it is going to be curtains for Vinayan.

“What happened in Chennai was that MACTA has been dissolved. We have formed a new group under Siddique and what we propose to do is to turn AMMA in to a trade union organization, so that it can be part of the MACTA,” said the actor.

The breakaway faction is carefully selecting the five members for the committee, he added.

“The rule is that an ad hoc committee would conduct elections to MACTA and the committee members would be unable to contest. We will put up candidates who are good at taking all people along,” said the actor.

Meanwhile, Vinayan extended an olive branch to the breakaway faction and urged them to return to MACTA.

“They should return and I am yet to decide if I will contest the elections,” said Vinayan.

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