Express News Service

CHENNAI: Tamil cinema is an inextricable a part of the cultural mindspace of Tamil residents. Understanding its affect, politicians, particularly of the Dravidian motion, have lengthy used the medium for propaganda functions. The two communities — movie and politics — subsequently are intently bonded within the State and State governments have lengthy prioritised the wants and calls for of filmgoers. Just one instance of that is how Tamil Nadu has arguably the bottom film ticket costs within the nation, a results of shut regulation on a part of the federal government. 

In this context, the current bulletins of Kadambur C Raju, State Minister of Information and Publicity, on interventions that the federal government is planning has intrigued many within the movie neighborhood. The minister has mentioned that the TN authorities is planning to launch its personal ticket-booking platform in a bid to curtail tax evasion amongst theatre-owners and guarantee transparency. Further, the minister flagged excessive service expenses as a difficulty for shoppers that the federal government’s app would arrest. 

This thought of a typical ticket booking app with lowered service expenses has been floated round for some time now. Notably, the previous president of the Tamil Film Producers’ Council (TFPC), Vishal, had made such a promise and is alleged to have even laid the muse for it, even when the plan wasn’t realised throughout his tenure. The TFPC, underneath Vishal, had argued that transparency on ticket gross sales was essential in understanding the precise earnings of a film and would allow the physique to undertake extra structural adjustments in how enterprise was carried out. Understandably, then, producers appear to be proud of the federal government’s proposals. 

Producer SS Durairaj, the previous normal secretary of the producers’ council, and a member of the eight-member committee fashioned by the federal government to develop a clear ticketing channel, for one, expressed nice satisfaction with this announcement. He believed that the ticketing app proposed by the federal government was an upgraded model of the one deliberate by the previous TFPC committee.

“The team led by Vishal wanted to launch the transparent ticketing system at the earliest, and we had actually done the paperwork for it. However, we weren’t able to proceed further due to reasons that I cannot disclose now. We had many distractions, and among the issues we had to contend with were the legal cases filed by the rival faction,” he mentioned, including that he was nonetheless completely happy that the change was lastly coming about. 

“Our proposal has been accepted by the government. The entire process will take time, as you can imagine, but it will happen for sure. The new system is inevitable. Credit must also go to producers like J Sathish Kumar and T Siva, who are also a part of the eight-member committee,” he mentioned. 

But will different ticketing platforms be affected by this resolution? Durairaj hoped that the plan wouldn’t face opposition from them. “The new ticketing system will encourage private booking platforms to reduce their service fee to match ours, and I don’t really foresee any resistance from them. Very soon, people will be able to book tickets for their entire family without paying hefty service charges for them.” BookMyShow presently expenses Rs 35 as web dealing with charges, inclusive of GST, for a single ticket priced at Rs 150.

Though Durairaj has expressed confidence that personal distributors received’t have points with the announcement, each BookMyShow and TicketNew haven’t commented on the matter up to now. Ticket New’s spokesperson mentioned that they had been suggested to not touch upon this resolution. The important stakeholders prone to face the influence of the proposed system are the theatres that organise early morning first day first exhibits and fan membership screenings, contemplating that these exhibits are presently being organised outdoors the purview of standard screenings. 

Theatre house owners, like ticketing portals, subsequently are holding out for extra details about the proposed app. “We are yet to understand the rules,” mentioned Gopi, supervisor of Kamala Cinemas. “We are waiting to understand all the nitty-gritties of the new ticketing system proposed by the government. In any case, all our records are already being documented through the existing booking system, so I don’t really think it will cause any great transition for us,” he mentioned. 

Meanwhile, Shanmugasundaram, supervisor of Udhayam Theatre, revealed that there was a small disagreement between the theatre house owners and the federal government over this method. However, he remained tight-lipped in regards to the particulars. “We have planned to discuss and sort out potential undesirable consequences with the theatre owners’ association first. Once we do that, we will collate them and take it to the government, asking for feasible solutions,” he mentioned.

Interestingly, the proposed system has brought about some outrage amongst a piece of the followers. Vignesh Ram, an ardent Rajinikanth fan and a member of the star’s fan membership, mentioned he had at all times caught early morning exhibits of the star’s releases. He didn’t see the necessity for the federal government to intrude between preparations fan golf equipment had made with theatres. “Both theatre owners and fan club members are comfortable with the existing arrangements for special shows. It’s an exciting experience to watch our favourite star’s film in the first show filled only with fan club members. We don’t want the government to ruin our experience,” he mentioned.

The imaginative and prescient of a brand new ticketing app that brings all theatres underneath a single clear system, appears for the time being, and will make theatre-going extra inexpensive because of the lowered service expenses. More importantly, for an infamous for its lack of transparency regarding field workplace figures, the proposed adjustments may actually shake issues up. The minister has additionally hinted at regulation of high quality and costs at meals and drinks and film theatres, and even on salaries of actors. However, there are many conversations available, hurdles to be crossed and stakeholders to be satisfied earlier than these adjustments — a few of them seismic — might be carried out. As Gopi of Kamala Cinemas put it, “Let us see what happens during the coming weeks.”