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Double taxation row: No new film releases in Tamil Nadu

Theatres in Tamil Nadu on Friday didn't release any new film following the Tamil Nadu Film Producers Council's (TFPC) stiff opposition to the additional tax over and above the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

IANS Reported by: IANS New Delhi Published on: October 06, 2017 15:44 IST
No new film releases in Tamil Nadu
No new film releases in Tamil Nadu

In a statement, Vishal, President of TFPC, said: "No new films will release this week as we feel the additional 10 per cent Local Body Entertainment Tax (LBET) above the GST will disable the industry." Saif Ali Khan's "Chef", "Blade Runner 2049" and Tamil film "Vizhithiru" were scheduled to hit the screens on Friday.

Bejoy Nambiar's Tamil-Malayalam bilingual film "Solo" released worldwide on Thursday. Its Tamil version played in Tamil Nadu on Thursday. However, it was removed on Friday.

Reacting on the scenario, "Vizhithiru" director Meera Kathiravan said: "Our film was scheduled to release in 250 screens. We had got good numbers. All the money we spent on promoting the film will go waste."

He said his film had a two-week window to enjoy a decent run before superstar Vijay's arrives on October 18.

"Even if we get to release next week, we won't get these number of screens as all theatres will prefer 'Mersal'. Our film was set for release after months of delay," he said.

However, Meera is not against the Council's decision.

"I spoke to Vishal and he empathized with our situation. He promised that when our films finally get to release, we will be given priority," he added.

The step by multiplexes is in response to a notification issued by the Greater Chennai Corp (GCC) levying a LBET of 20 per cent on non-Tamil films and 10 per cent on Tamil films with effect from September 27 in addition to the 28 per cent GST on cinema tickets.

General audiences are miffed with the decision to not release new films.

Arun Kumar, a 29-year-old bank employee, was looking forward to "Blade Runner 2049".

"I've been reading glowing reviews for 'Blade Runner 2049' online. It's really disappointing they have decided to not release the film. Now I'll be left with no option other than watching a pirated copy online," Arun said.

Members of the Producers Council are hopeful that an amicable solution will be reached over the weekend.


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