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What is Kollywood? And why is this film industry in the crisis?

Kollywood is making headlines in the Indian media for some days – and that too for the bad reasons. The film industry is in crisis these days after theatre owners threatened to go on strike from March 16.

Kollywood is the Tamil-language film industry, based at Kodambakkam, Chennai in South India. It’s a portmanteau of Kodambakkam and Hollywood.

It has been two weeks without new releases in Tamil Nadu after theatre owners announced that they would go on a strike against the government from March 16 if their demands are not met.

Kollywood film stars

After a meeting on Thursday in Chennai, the theatre owners have asked for a government order eradicating the 8% LBET tax. Apart from this, they have also asked for flexibility to reduce the number of seats, increase the Theatre Maintenance Charges (Rs 5 for AC theatres and Rs 3 for non-AC screens) and extend the licence renewal period to three years (from one year).

The theatre owners have stated that they will strike from March 16, if a clear government order is not issued by then. They have also clarified that the bone of contention is only the government. Theatre owners allege that the government has to issue the orders based on previous agreements. They have also planned to meet the minister for the same.

There have been no new releases for the past two weeks and now with the latest announcement, it might take longer for newer films to hit the screens. Several films such as Tovino Thomas-Pia Bajpai’s Abhiyum Anuvum, Sarjun-Sathyaraj-Varalakshmi’s Echcharikai Idhu Manithargal Nadamadum Idam, Sai Pallavi’s Karu etc might be affected due to the strike.

Kollywood film stars

Tamil cinema is India’s third largest film industry in terms of films produced, as per the Central Board of Film Certification report of 2011, with high revenues and worldwide distribution, having audiences mainly from Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh making it one of the largest in the world.

Kollywood produced several stars inlcuding Kamal Hassan, Rajnikanth and Dhanush who were later shot to fame after stepping into Bollywood.

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