18 Mar – Cinema chains in Malaysia have come forward to deny the allegations towards them which claim that they are marginalising local Tamil films.
The accusation was made when the local Tamil film, "Ais Kosong", which was released on 3 March 2016, went from being shown in 16 locations to only one location at the end.
Cinema chain Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) in a statement to Cinema Online said that they never practiced 'favouritism', but do in fact support local productions one hundred percent.
"GSC is always in support of local films. If the local movie is well-received by the public, GSC will definitely show it for a longer period. For instance, the recent local films, "Munafik" and "Boboiboy The Movie".
"Another example will be the local Tamil movie, "Jagat", which was screening at GSC NU Sentral for 63 days (9 weeks) due to its strong performance."
GSC added that "Ais Kosong" was screened at five locations on its first day (3 March 2016), but after screening for 3 days, the occupancy rate of the movie was discovered to be below 15 percent at all locations, except GSC NU Sentral.
"In support of local movies, GSC continued screening "Ais Kosong" for one full week (3 to 9 March) at four locations; GSC IOI Mall, GSC Klang Parade Mall, GSC Ipoh Parade and GSC Amanjaya Mall."
"GSC Klang Parade had an average of five shows a day until 9 March despite the fact that GSC could have reduced the number of shows under Skim Wajib Tayang. "Ais Kosong" was screened at GSC NU Sentral on the second week from 10 to 16 March."
Meanwhile, TGV Cinemas in their statement also brought up that they have and will continuously support local films without side-lining any local productions.
"Films exhibited under Skim Wajib Tayang have a two week mandatory screening duration at cinemas for which it's been assigned to, unless of course it doesn't meet the minimum requirement of 15 percent occupancy on any single day on its first 3 days of screening since its opening."
"We, like other cinemas, follow these rules and in the case of "Ais Kosong", the occupancies were well below the 15 percent level."
TGV said that in that same period of time, they have also shown six other local films whereby three of the films were well received and were still showing well past its third and fourth week.
They added that previously they have screened the local Tamil film titled "Maindhan" for a long period of time following the audiences' response.
Furthermore, MBO Cinemas also added in a short statement that they are more concerned about the quality of a film regardless of the 'colour' of a film.
LFS Cinemas could not be reached for comment at the time of publishing.
Recently Free Malaysia Today reported that Vijayan Palaniappan, the Chief of the Bureau of Arts and Culture for National MIC Youth voiced out his concerns towards the local film industry where he claims local Tamil films have been marginalised by local cinemas.
Vijayan says that if the situation doesn't change soon, then local Tamil filmmakers would opt out of making films as they are not able to collect their return of investment.
Following this, Vijayan says that he has sent a memorandum to FINAS to intervene on the matter and to find a solution for the issue that is seen to be getting worse.