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Exhibitors stop payment for FD films

Clipping (47kbs) - Screen, 17-11-1995. By Nidhi Saxena-Malvankar

Record Number : A0011521

Click to browse by keyword: Cinema Film exhibition Cinema Film Finance Cinema Film Production Cinema Film distribution High Courts Censorship Supreme Court Government/State policy/regulation


Exhibitors stop payment for FD films
By Nidhi Saxena-Malvankar

THE Films Division (FD) is yet to consult the government legal experts on the Delhi High Court verdict restraining it from collecting payment from theatres against compulsory screening of its films, while the distributors and exhibitors have stopped payments from November 1.

In the Motion Picture Association (MPA) versus Films Division case, the Delhi High Court had issued an order in favour of the MPA and Eastern India Motion Picture Association on August 31, stating that the cinema owners are bound to show the approved films, but the condition that they shall procure these films either from the Films Division or any other source and pay for their exhibition in their cinemas is invalid. And any insistence by the authorities that theatre owners should obtain from the Films Division, or any other authority a no objection certificate for showing licence will be invalid. The status quo was to be maintained for a period of two months for the respondents to make an appeal in the Supreme Court, if they chose to.

Commenting on the above judgement at the end of the abeyance period, Chief Producer of FD, Mr Gautaman, stated: “The government’s stand is that the theatres shall have to pay the required one per cent of their revenue which amounts to crores of rupees, which also happens to be the cost of manufacturing FD reels. We cannot make any definite statement until we consult the legal department. In any case, the MPA and the Eastern India Motion Picture Association have not obtained an exemption from showing the films of FD. To obtain that, they will have to make another appeal. Most probably, our next step will be to move the Supreme Court but that will be decided in a couple of months time.”

Meanwhile, the Indian Motion Picture Distributors Association (IMPDA) is quite matter of fact about the court’s decision. Says N.N. Sippy, president of IMPDA, “As the abeyance period is over we have stopped paying any amount whatsoever to the FD. In case they move the Supreme Court, we will await the verdict, but till then we will not pay the, FD as decided by the Delhi High Court.”

The Cinematograph Exhibitors Association of India (CEAI) is of the same opinion. “We have instructed all the theatres that no payment shall be made to the Films Division. As per the court’s decision, if the Films Division does not supply us with films, we can obtain them from some other source. If the government moves the Supreme Court, so will we.”







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