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Corporation will streamline film distribution - Minister

Higher Education and Cultural Affairs Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, film director Somaratne Dissanayake and NFC Chairman Sithendra Senaratne at the press briefing. Picture by Nissanka Wijeratne

Higher Education and Cultural Affairs Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said the film distribution process should be carried out by the National Film Corporation (NFC) again so as to streamline the film industry.

The Minister said that film distribution process had faced many issues with irregularities in the film distribution process, which was undertaken by four private companies from 2000.

The four private companies had been assigned for film distribution by the Film Corporation violating the Film Corporation Act of 1970 in 2000.

As the result of irregularities in the film distribution process, 74 Cinema halls had been shut down by now.

Moreover those companies do not spend a single rupee for the betterment of the film industry even though those distribution companies collect 10 per cent of the revenue from each film.

According to Film Corporation estimates, Rs 200 to 300 million is earned annually by those companies, that are engaged in film distribution.

The Minister said that it is needed to end the monopoly of these companies to protect the film industry from falling bankrupt.

When the Minister was asked how the Film Corporation is going to end the film distribution monopoly, he said a proper mechanism will be formed with the participation of the all stakeholders in the film industry such as directors, producers, artistes, film hall owners and other stakeholders.

The proposed mechanism will be put into practice and then there may be an impartial and a just film distribution process.

“It is important to take the mantle of film distribution again to the National Film Corporation or else it is hard for the film industry to survive,” the Minister said.

Minister Rajapaksha added that legal action will be taken in this regard in due course to get the film distribution process back to the Film Corporation.