Here's why PVR INOX stopped screening Malayalam movies in Kerala

'Aavesham' hit theatres on Thursday. Photo | Imdb

Kochi: The decision by PVR INOX to ban the screening of Malayalam films across the state has dealt as a huge blow to the Mollywood industry, which was currently basking in the success of several back-to-back hits. The move comes amidst the release of new Mollywood releases, including 'Aavesham' and 'Varshangalkku Shesham', which hit theatres during the Eid-Vishu week.

According to the Kerala Film Producers Association, the tiff began after PVR INOX refused to accept their service provider PDC, which was started over two years ago. The producers' council introduced PDC to bring down the rate of the Virtual Print Fee charged by the existing service providers, including QUBE, UFO and Sony, in theatres across the state. The hefty Virtual Print Fee was burning a hole in producers' pockets, they claimed.

Though the producers' association approached PVR multiple times with the request, the multiplex chain based in Mumbai did not entertain it, the association members alleged. Currently, PVR has 22 screens in Kochi and 44 screens across the state. The issue intensified after PVR INOX opened nine more screens at the Forum Mall in Kochi on Wednesday. An inside source with PVR confirmed they are not playing any of the new Malayalam releases. 'Manjummel Boys', 'Aadujeevitham' and 'Premalu', have also been removed from PVR screens.

Meanwhile, PVR INOX CEO Kamal Gianchandani claimed the producers association was forcing them to 'procure content from only one source, which is anti-competitive in nature and prohibited under the law.'

"At the onset, we would like to express our sincere appreciation to all our Producer and Distributor friends in the Malayalam film industry for their unwavering support for the theatrical platform and their significant contribution to the revival of theatres post Covid-19. No one holds the greatest respect for all the producers releasing their films in our theatres than all of us at PVRINOX," Kamal Gianchandani shared on social media.

He added: "Normally, we try to keep the industry-related matters to ourselves, but we have come across several one-sided media reports regarding PVRINOX's disagreement with the producers association on some commercial matters and therefore it is important that we share our point of view." (sic)

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