Filming in Kerala grinds to a halt

MUMBAI: Film shootings in Kerala came to a halt after the Kerala Film Producers Association decided to call off shooting schedules in the state as a result of high production costs.

"We have had several talks with the Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) but it failed to yield any positive results and the production costs continue to go up. Now we have decided that we will wait and watch what is going to happen. Our protest is not directed against any organisation,"
remarked Association president Siyad Koker.

FEFKA comprises 19 different organisations that include drivers to directors. It has had a love-hate relation with producers for long and this is not the first time that the film industry is going to come to a grinding halt.

On the other hand, a section of the film theatre owners are also on a war path. This is another reason why the producers have decided to go ahead with the strike.

The film industry is in a crisis because revenues for even blockbusters are falling for various reasons, including the huge influx of pirated CDs available a few days after the filmS hit the theatres.

Exhibitors Association President Liberty Basheer said in a statement that the government was trying to cut service tax and increase ticket rates which was not acceptable.

Meanwhile, it is reported that film shooting in the Malayalam film industry continued despite the strike called by State Film Producers Association as work on few films were to be completed on schedule before ‘pack-up.‘

"Shooting of around 12 films, for which the work was on, went on uninterrupted yesterday," industry sources said.

The Producers Association, however, said the producers had only been given time for two days for finishing work and the decision to suspend production activities was still on.

The Association has cautioned that action would be taken against producers who will continue with shooting after the prescribed time, the Association said in a statement.

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