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Ruckus at producers’ council meeting

Ruckus at producers’ council meeting
Highlights

After producers exposed the scam of exhibitors in `The Hans India’ report `Producers worried over exhibitors usurping Rs 300 cr’, a few days ago, the recent general body meeting of Telugu Film Producers’ Council turned into a battle  ground of sorts.

After producers exposed the scam of exhibitors in `The Hans India’ report `Producers worried over exhibitors usurping Rs 300 cr’, a few days ago, the recent general body meeting of Telugu Film Producers’ Council turned into a battle ground of sorts.

As 80-odd producers took on a leading producer and exhibitor whose kin are leading stars and holds an iron grip on majority of theatres of 600-odd theatres in TS. “Already, this lessee has ruined the industry.

Even though, he is a leading producer, his support for exhibitors baffled us in the general body meeting. Producers’ guild is meant to safeguard the interests of 800-odd producers but he is working against it.

It clearly exposes that he is earning more as a lessee than producer,” says producer Surender Reddy, who claims that the `lessee’ has become all-powerful with his connections with Ministers and other officials.

“A producer cannot release a film in entire Telangana state and AP without his permission and mercy. He is above even the State governments and no one questions his hegemony,” he adds.

Actually, producers and exhibitors are on a warpath for the last few weeks as the TS government announced ticket hike (which is put on hold for now) which includes Rs 7 per ticket as maintenance charges.

“We demand the government to scrap maintenance charges for good since exhibitors never bothered to use it for purpose it was meant for, rather pocketed hundreds of crores so far,” laments another producer Gopichand who claims that the lessee is threatening to include more exhibitors in the 44-member executive body in Telugu Film Chamber of Commerce and stifle producers’ voice.

“He warns us, if producers try to seek a share in maintenance charges, he would shuffle the Telugu Film chamber body to his convenience and pass resolutions in favour of exhibitors,”.

Another producer Mohan Goud adds “He is trying to crush producers with an iron hand, but we are in no mood to give up. We will expose his misdeeds to the government to ensure justice for producers who actually make the product,’’ Meanwhile, Producers’ Guild has moved a writ petition in the High Court against maintenance charges per se.

“A writ is pending in the court, but with government putting the ticket hike on hold, we are forced to wait. We will move earth and heaven and ensure that extra money earned through proposed ticket hike rightfully reaches producers and not into pockets of a few lessees,” concludes producer Ram Satyanarayana.

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