Kerala bill for cinema regulatory authority, against artistes' ban

Shane Nigam and minister AK Balan
Shane Nigam and minister AK Balan

Thiruvananthapuram: Malayalam film industry has been under the scanner of law enforcers amid a slew of controversial issues including shocking crimes. In a bid to clamp down on nefarious activities by people associated with varied aspects of the film business, the Kerala government has come up with a draft bill. In the wake of actor Shane Nigam and producer Joby George's spat, the legislation is likely to bring about a comprehensive overhaul of the Malayalam movie industry, which is dubbed as Mollywood. Apart from government takeover of the online system for booking movie tickets, the bill also favours artistes.

The bill significantly proposes a cinema regulatory authority which would aim to resolve labour issues, and disputes between producers, distributors and theatre owners. Such issues have been cropping up of late and in some cases involved bitter legal wrangles and crimes linked to the underworld.

With the formation of the regulatory authority, the outfits in the movie industry such as the AMMA or FEFKA would not have the authority to the resolve the disputes or handle any complaints. Any such attempt would be deemed as illegal. The outfits would not have the authority to ban or ostracise actors or other movie workers as has happened with a few artistes.

All complaints related to production and distribution would be taken up by the authority. A retired district judge would be the authority's chairman. A senior member from the film industry and one expert from the economic sector would be part of the authority.

The government will also bring in a system for the registration of movie production. Guidelines would also be formulated on production and distribution.