On Friday, digital cinema provider Qube Cinema announced a full waiver in the Virtual Print Fee charges for all Hindi and non-South regional films releasing in December this year. It also said there would be a 60% waiver in Virtual Print Fee charges for releases in January 2021.
Qube further said that South Indian language markets would have specific packages appropriate to their requirements. This announcement is expected to help producers plan upcoming releases through Christmas and New Year, and into 2021.
The Virtual Print Fee, a subsidy paid by a film distributor towards the purchase of digital cinema projection equipment by a film exhibitor, has been a long-standing issue between the Tamil Film Active Producers Association (TFAPA), Qube Cinema, and the Tamil Nadu Theatre and Multiplex Owners Association. Recently, a temporary agreement was reached over the demand to completely slash VPF charges on hold. The move will now allow new Tamil films to be released.
In their statement, Qube said that certain charges would continue to apply, “Logistic charges for content delivery and key management for both DCI (Digital Cinema Initiatives) and non-DCI screens will continue to be applicable on new releases and library content.”
Qube had also announced a full waiver on VPF charges in November, due to the holiday season.
Senthil Kumar, the co-founder of Qube Cinema, had earlier told Silverscreen India that around three small-budget films would be releasing towards the end of November, while roughly six small-to-medium budget films would be released in December. Service providers are also aiming for some big-budget Tamil and Hindi film releases in January 2021.
Talking about the new agreed-upon VPF rate with TFAPA, Senthil had told Silverscreen India that the TFAPA had agreed on a charge that was already proposed by the service provider. However, he said, “We can’t disclose the business details of it but it’s nothing different from what we had discussed earlier.”