Top Malayalam producers plan to shift base to Chennai


Labour unrest in the Kerala film industry

Disruption of shootings causing loss to industry

Shrinking market, economic slowdown other reasons

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Major players of the Malayalam film industry are seriously contemplating to shift their operations to Chennai considering the labour unrest and the raging differences of opinion among fraternal organisations.

The frequent disruptions, squabbles between different sections and the ban unilaterally imposed on artistes are feared to incur heavy loss to the industry which has an annual turnover of Rs. 300 crore and provides employment to nearly one lakh people.

The production cost of a film ranged between Rs. 3 crore and Rs.5 crore. While the industry engaged 50,000 persons directly, it provided indirect employment to an equal or more number of persons. The 60 to 70 films made mostly in Kerala also supported hospitality and allied sectors too. Industry sources told The Hindu that the packages offered by the successive governments to promote Malayalam cinema and an earnest desire of the producers, technicians and artistes to settle down in their native place were the factors which catalysed the transplantation of Malayalam cinema to Kerala.

Intense rift

But the intense differences of opinion among the proliferating fraternal organisations and their attempts to disrupt film shootings have prompted the producers to think of returning to Chennai once again. The shrinking market and the economic slowdown had already taken its toll on the industry. The production of films had come down from 150 to 60 over the years and the returns from the cinema houses too are dwindling.

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