Protests over Malayalam film industry row continues

Alappuzha (Kerala) April 19 (Inditop) Members of a Malayalam film association tried to disrupt a movie shoot in Kerala, for the second consecutive day Sunday, to vent their ire against leading actors Mammootty and Dileep.

The members of Malayalam Cine Technicians Association (MACTA) tried to disrupt the shooting of “Daddy Cool”, which has superstar Mammootty in the leading role, at Muhamma near here.

MACTA accuses Mammootty and Dileep of using their influence as leading actors in the industry and scuttling their projects and ensuring that its members do not get work.

MACTA includes 19 organisations which represent people associated with the film industry ranging from spot boys, drivers, technicians to directors. MACTA is presently affiliated with the Communist Party of India (CPI)-led All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC).

Sub Inspector of Police C. Jayakumar said members of MACTA and the CPI arrived on the set and demanded to speak to Mammootty.

“They wanted to speak to Mammootty. The actor, however, refused to speak to them. They then started shouting slogans. Soon activists of the youth wing of the Communist Party of India-Marxist also arrived to give protection to the actor. There was a mild scuffle but no one was hurt,” Jayakumar told IANS.

“The things were soon under control after news came that there will be a discussion on April 23 in Thiruvananthapuram,” said Jayakumar.

Following the protests, Mammootty spoke to CPI Rajya Sabha member K.E. Ismail to find a solution to the issue. Ismail decide to be a mediatory and hold discussions with actors Mammootty, Suresh Gopi and few others at Thiruvananthapuram.

“First we will speak to them and hear what they have to say and I have also spoken to (film director and MACTA chief) Vinayan and if necessary a joint meeting will be held to settle the issue,” Ismail told Inditop.

The MACTA has announced a stop to the protests till April 23.

The trouble started last year when Dileep refused to act in a film by Thulasidas after a string of flops by the director.

At the height of the dispute MACTA split with the leading technicians and directors forming Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA).

While MACTA is being led by director Vinayan and has a huge membership base, the FEFKA includes most of the big time directors like Joshi, I.V. Sasi, Siddique, Lal, Sathyan Anthicad, Renjith and Renji Panicker.

The FEFKA has the full blessings of the influential actors’ body – the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA).

On Saturday, nearly 300 members of MACTA disrupted a film shoot in Palakkad where actor Dileep was shooting for the film “Bodyguard”.

A scuffle broke out between the protestors and the film crew and five members of the MACTA, including its general secretary Byju Kottarakara, were arrested and later given bail.