Theatre Owners in TN Call Off Strike

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Theatre owners in Tamil Nadu called off their four-day strike on Thursday over the new 30 percent entertainment tax. They said a committee will be formed comprising State Government officials and film fraternity of Tamil Nadu.

Abirami Ramanathan, president, Tamil Film Chamber, said, “We met four ministers and they said the 30% local body tax will be in abeyance. The committee will be formed and look into this issue.”

When asked how soon the committee take to decide on the final ticket pricing, the association members said there is no deadline but decision on the state government’s tax imposition will be taken at the earliest.

Starting from Friday, the GST rates would be added to the ticket pricing. There will be an 18% tax slab for tickets below Rs 100 and a 28% tax slab for tickets more than Rs 100.

Two movies released last Friday screened in theatres for just three days before the strike. The losses are pegged at Rs 15 crores. The movies will be re-released tomorrow.

Three Tamil movies including Vikram Veda, Pandigai and Nibunan were slated for release on July 7th but that is now postponed to July 14. Only two movies will hit the silver screens on Friday — Spiderman and Mom.

A theatre owner told CNN News 18 that there are logistical issues as the strike was called off at the 11th hour and hence they have no choice but release it next week.

Sreedhar Pillai, a movie industry tracker, said, “Three movie releases are pushed by a week and that is the perfect thing to do. No Tamil movie can release tomorrow. These movies will be released on July 14.”

“The movie releases scheduled for July 14 will release on July 21. Even Spiderman and Mom will have limited reach due to distribution. By Saturday, the industry is hoping to expand the distribution network. The movies that were released last week are getting a new run without any opposition. It will be interesting to see how the audience react to the new price hike,” he added.

S Thanu, producer, said: “Tamil movies will not be released as it is logistically impossible. But this postponement will not affect the producers.”

Please Offer Intelligent Characters to Women: Jyothika Appeals to Directors

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Actress Jyothika has urged filmmakers to be socially more responsible and give intelligent roles to female stars. The 38-year-old actress, who essays the role of a documentary filmmaker in her upcoming film Magalir Mattum, says cinema has the power to influence the youth and is responsible for the treatment meted out to women in the country.

“This is a message to directors who direct big hero films. Please give women characters some dignity in your movies. Look at your mother, wife, sister or girlfriend and give realistic roles to women like the people living around you. There are crores of fans and followers to big heroes.

“You’re socially responsible to what is happening to women all over India. Cinema has a big impact on youth. Please offer intelligent characters to women,” Jyothika said at the launch of her film Magalir Mattum here recently. The actress said if the filmmakers will continue to show stories where one actor is paired opposite four women, the youth will get a wrong message.

“Refrain from encouraging comedians to speak double- meaning dialogues with the heroine around,” she stressed. Jyothika’s actor-husband Suriya has produced Magalir Mattum. Suriya said watching a recent advertisement of Aamir Khan on women empowerment was eye-opening for him. “I feel I should be socially responsible in my movies. I promise that I will be more responsible henceforth. I watched a recent TV commercial starring Aamir Khan… The advertisement felt like a slap in the face,” Suriya said. Director Bramma G, best known for his National Award- winning drama Kuttram Kadithal, said Magalir Mattum is “a celebration of womanhood”.
“I don’t believe in feminism. The society belongs to both men and women equally. Magalir Mattum is a celebration of womanhood,” Bramma said. The film also stars Urvashi, Bhanupriya, Saranya Ponvannan, Nasser and Livingston in important roles.

Acting is Difficult in a Language You Don’t Know

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Kajol will soon be seen in Tamil action-comedy-drama “Velai Illa Pattadhari 2” and the actress said she initially contemplated quitting the film as she was unable to memorise her dialogues in the Dravidian language.

Kajol made her debut in Tamil films with Rajiv Menon’s Minsaara Kanavu in 1997, which saw her in the role of an aspiring nun, Priya, opposite Arvind Swamy and Prabhu Deva. The actress although had an incredible experience working in the VIP 2 alongside Dhanush and director Soundarya Rajinikanth, she said she found the process of learning her lines in Tamil quite difficult.

“Acting is a little more difficult in a language that you don’t understand, like Tamil. It was a process for the first two days. I saw my scene paper, and I was like, ‘Okay. You could take somebody else for the film now.’

“But Soundarya and Dhanush were very sweet and kind and decided to work on me a little more. By the third day, I was willing to finish the rest of the film. It was an entirely different experience,”

Kajol told reporters here. The actress said it’s been an amazing journey working in a Tamil film after so long. “‘VIP 2’ was a fantastic team. I had a great time and made some great friends. I thank Soundarya and Dhanush for taking the time and trouble to help me and make me look good on screen.”

Kajol noted cinema has changed a lot in the past two decades including the way people work and she believes that the change is important as it helps one grow as an artiste.

“Today we have given a ‘Baahubali’ which has crossed everybody’s imagination and enthralled people from all over the world. Change is essential to growth, and we have developed as an industry.

“And we are not talking about only one particular state in the country now. So, I think that in itself shows how much we have changed and the kind of exposure we have had.” The actress also denied reports that her role Vasundhara Parameshwar in VIP 2 was initially written for superstar Rajinikanth.

“Vasundhara Parameshwar was always a female character. It was always written with a ‘woman’ in mind,” she said.
“VIP 2” is a sequel to the 2014 Tamil blockbuster “VIP” (‘Velai Illa Pattathari’) and is co-produced by Kalaipuli S Thanu’s V Creations and Dhanush’s Wunderbar Films.

Directed by Soundarya, the movie is slated to release on July 28 in Tamil, Telugu and Hindi to coincide with Dhanush’s birthday.

The Hindi version of the film, which also features Amala Paul, Samuthirakani and Vivek in important roles, is titled VIP 2: Lalkar.