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Cap likely on number of screens for dubbed films

Special Correspondent
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language matters: Still from ‘7th Sense' starring Surya and Shruthi Haasan, which was originally made in Tamil.
language matters: Still from ‘7th Sense' starring Surya and Shruthi Haasan, which was originally made in Tamil.

Dubbed films will henceforth not be able to enjoy the successful runs that they had, with the Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce acceding to pressure from the four different sectors of the film industry and deciding to write to the State Government to support it in the endeavour, from January 1, 2012.

The demand is primarily intended to make available screens for straight Telugu films that are virtually being ‘stifled' and were fading into oblivion.

The heartburn over dubbed films making it big at the box office has been there for quite some time and interestingly, there are two view points on that. The producers and the studios sector are on one side, seeking a cap on the number of screens for dubbed films and an entertainment tax on them ranging between 40 and 50 per cent. Currently, the tax on dubbed films here in Andhra Pradesh is only 20 per cent. On the other hand of the spectrum are the distributors and exhibitors sectors that are apparently laughing all the way to the bank.

Meeting

On Sunday, a committee formed by the chamber, with representatives of all the four sectors was chaired by chamber president D. Suresh Babu. After detailed discussions that spilled over to Monday, the committee decided to write to the State government on the issue.

Producers' sector president Natti Kumar said among their demands were that dubbed films should not be released in more than 85 screens in the State, while the distributors and exhibitors want the number fixed at 150.

The producers also demanded that all straight Telugu films that are released with less than 70 prints be virtually made tax-free.

In recent times, examples of films dubbed from other language films making huge sums of money include the Rajnikanth-starrer ‘Robot', ‘Naa Peru Siva' with Karthi (brother of actor Surya) and ‘7th Sense' with Shruthi Haasan and Surya in the lead.

Another important demand from the producers and studios sectors is that no dubbed films should be released during the festival season, including Pongal, Deepavali, Dasara and Vinayaka Chavithi.

It is understood that representatives of the producers and studios sector have been mulling over the issue for a while and that the trigger was provided by the example of the Kannada film industry that came down heavily on Telugu films, recently.


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