The ongoing crisis in the Malayalam film industry might finally see some closure. AK Balan, the State’s Minister for Culture, will convene a meeting of film trade unions in Palakkad on Tuesday. According to sources, the Producers’ Association and Kerala Film Exhibitors Federation will look for an amicable solution at the meeting, clearing the path for a smooth release of four big-budget films around Christmas.
Prithviraj’s Ezra, Dulquer Salmaan’s Jomonte Suviseshangal, director Siddique’s Fukri and Mohanlal’s Muthirivallikal Thalirkkumbol will release on December 22 if the industry crisis is resolved.
The issues began after the Kerala Film Exhibitors’ Federation, an association of ‘A’ class theatre owners in the State, demanded a 50 percent revenue share as against the current revenue sharing ratio of 40 percent for exhibitors and 60 percent for producers.
G Suresh Kumar, president of the Kerala Producers’ Association, told the Deccan Chronicle that the exhibitors’ demand was “unrealistic'”. He said, “This means the producer will get just half the revenue. We cannot agree [to] that as it does not benefit the producer, who funds the film facing many risks. That is why the association members unanimously decided to hold the release.”
Subsequently, all Malayalam releases were put on hold from Friday, 16 December onwards. Dulquer Salmaan’s Jomonte Suvisheshangal was originally scheduled to release on 16 December. If the crisis continues beyond 22 December, the industry will reportedly suffer a loss of more than Rs 30 crore.
The crisis has not affected the release of Tamil-Hindi films like Dangal and S3. Both are scheduled to release next week.