Hyderabad: The Telugu film industry will observe a shutdown on Friday to pressurize the Andhra Pradesh Government to immediately tackle the menace of piracy.
Film producer Yalamanchi Ravichand’s fast-unto-death over the piracy issue has entered the third day on Wednesday and many of the leading film personalities have joined his protest outside the Andhra Pradesh Film Chamber of Commerce office in Film Nagar, Hyderabad.
According to Tollywood sources, film shootings, film releases, screening and all other film-related activities will remain suspended on Friday
Ravichand has asked the state government to issue an ordinance to prevent video piracy.
“In one year the Telugu film industry does a business of over 500 crores But around 200 crore business loss is incurred by us due to piracy. This is a problem with both small and big budget films. Thus we want to avoid piracy. If the Piracy Act is enforced then we can control this menace. That is why I am protesting,” said Ravichand.
He further said that the state government must act on the piracy issue before the upcoming season from April to June, which traditionally sees the release of more films.
“I want this Act to be implemented by the government at the earliest because the April-May-June season is approaching. I want to save the films being released in the season from piracy. That is why we are staging the shutdown and protest. We have received fifty per cent conformation from the government on this issue. All the high profile people are supporting me and raising this issue in the Chamber,” he added.
Actor turned politician Chiranjeevi, producers D Rama Naidu and D Suresh Babu, actors Allu Arjun, Nagarjuna, Bhoomika Chawla, Naga Chaitnaya, Movie Artistes Association (MAA) president M Murali Mohan, representatives of Cine Writers” Association, and others visited the hunger-strike camp and voiced their opinions on piracy issue.
Chiranjeevi said Tollywood should learn from the film industry of Tamil Nadu, which has come up with stringent provisions to tackle piracy.
He also demanded that the matter come up for discussion in the Assembly.
Film piracy, including illegally released video CDs and DVDs, has become a contentious issue now.
Audiences pounce upon pirated DVDs and CDs because of their minimal prices and easy availability, while filmmakers lose their rightful share of earnings and royalties.