Kamal Hassan earlier today strongly pitched for increasing cinema ticket prices on par with global rates, saying the existing cost was less than that of a cola sold in developed countries.
"Though the efforts taken in making of a cinema are much more difficult than making of a cola, it is unfortunate that the cost of entry tickets is less compared to the cost of Cola sold in developed countries," he told reporters.
"In India it is considered as an entertainment media. But is not considered as an essential commodity (service) like hospitals," he said speaking on the sidelines of the FICCI's two-day conference "Media and Entertainment Conclave," which got off to a start.
Asked whether the increase in price of movie tickets would not affect the common man, he shot back "people buy a jeans for Rs 10,000 and shoes for Rs 5,000. Either you want to drink tea at a roadside tea shop or you want to drink tea at a five star deluxe hotel, the decision is yours. I definitely support it (the idea of increasing the cost of film tickets)."
Noting that the Indian cinema industry in its centenary year was considered as the biggest in terms of volume, he said however in revenue terms it was not biggest as the industry still lacks in basic infrastructure. "We do not have proper infrastructure on electricity. Today country wide there are power cuts. There is no infrastructure," he said to a query.
On the conference, Kamal Hasan, who is its Chairman, said several vital issues were deliberated. This year a skill development course for below the line technicians of the film industry was being conducted.
"The digitisation (of cable TV broadcast) in four metros is going to happen shortly. Such important topics were deliberated...," he said. There was a plan to set up a specific skill development centre in association with FICCI for the technicians who risk their lives in film industry, he said. To a query on where Tamil cinema stands globally, he said, "...I cannot say, where it will stand. I want to go to world cinema with my language and I am trying that."
Stating that FICCI was taking efforts to store rare Bollywood movies, he said unity among the actors and producers in the Hindi film world was "missing" in Tamil film industry. Substantiating his point, he said even the FICCI Media and Entertainment conclave which began in Mumbai was brought to Chennai only after seven to eight years.