- Association of Malayalam Movie Artists
full_name= Association of Malayalam Movie Artists
general secretary= Padmashri Mohanlal
Innocent Vincent, President Mohanlal, General Secretary
website= [http://www.malayalamcinema.com/ www.malayalamcinema.com]
Association of Malayalam Movie Artists (AMMA) is the association of actors who work in
Malayalam cinema. The association was first of its kind in India, and the functioning of it led to formation actors guilds in film industries of other Indian languages as well.
The AMMA General Body is the decision making body of the AMMA. The body meets annually and in case of special situations. The General Body members are selected by common understanding, and will use voting among the members in case a unanimous decision is not reached. The General Body members for the period 2006-2009 were unanimously elected and they took charge on 25 June 2006 [ [http://www.hindu.com/2006/06/26/stories/2006062608990400.htm The Hindu: AMMA office-bearers assume charge ] ] . The General Body members are [ [http://www.malayalamcinema.com/News-3/EXECUTIVE+COMMITTEE+OF+AMMA+20062009.html?newsid=15&linkid=3 malayalamcinema.com: AMMA Executive Committee Members] ] :
Nedumudi Venu, Dileep
*"Joint Secretary": Edavela Babu
Rajan P. Dev, Vijayaraghavan, Sreeraman, Siddique, Maniyanpilla Raju, Kunchacko Boban, Bindu Panicker, Cuckoo Parameswaran, Harisree Asokan and Cochin Haneefa.
* "Kaineettam": A scheme for monthly stipend to actors who are at their elder ages or are suffering from serious diseases. Currently, 51 members of AMMA are receiving stipend of Rs.2000 per month under the scheme. [ [http://www.hindu.com/2006/06/26/stories/2006062608990400.htm The Hindu: AMMA office-bearers assume charge] ]
* AMMA occasionally conducts stage programmes with film actors for fund-raising. [ [http://www.malayalacinema.com/php/showNews.php?newsid=105&linkid=3 malayalamcinema.com: News] ]
* An official publication is in the pipeline, which will be an annual at the beginning and is expected to be a mothly later on. [ [http://www.hindu.com/2006/06/26/stories/2006062608990400.htm The Hindu: AMMA office-bearers assume charge] ]
* A co-operative society in Kochi is under discussion. [ [http://malayalamcinema.com/News-24/Meeting2007.html?newsid=223&linkid=24 malayalamcinema.com: News] ]
* AMMA will be starting a fund for the economically poorer sections of the society.. [ [http://malayalamcinema.com/News-24/Meeting2007.html?newsid=223&linkid=24 malayalamcinema.com: News] ]
A malayalam film titled has been planned for fund-raising for the association. The film will be produced by Dileep and directed by Joshy. The film is expected to have a cast containing all major stars in the malayalm film indutry, who will act in the film without any remuneration. [ [http://www.hindu.com/2006/06/26/stories/2006062608990400.htm The Hindu: AMMA office-bearers assume charge] ] The film will be scripted by screenwright duo Uday Krishna-Sibi K Thomas. Dileep is the main investor in the project and will be spending Rs. 1 crore for the film. The film pre-production officially started at a ceremony held in Hotel White Fort,
Kochiwith Dileep handing over the advance to Joshy [ [http://www.malayalacinema.com/php/showNews.php?newsid=105&linkid=3 malayalamcinema.com: News] ] . The shooting of the film is scheduled to start on 7 December 2007. Though the producers of the film are silent about the roles of the stars, it has been reported that Mammoottywill be playing the role of an advocate and Mohanlalwill be Dileep's elder brother in the film [ [http://www.indiaglitz.com/channels/malayalam/article/34660.html IndiGlitz: Advocate Mammootty in 'Twenty Twenty'] ] .
The Film Industry Crisis of 2004
Since its formation the AMMA was involved in a number of controversies, the major one being with the Kerala Film Chamber of Commerce, which represents producers, exhibitors and distributors in Kerala. The rift started as early as April 2002 when the Chamber came out with an instruction to the film artistes against appearing in TV programmes or stage shows; the cited reason being diversion of energy of the artistes from films and loss of star value by frequent public appearance [ [http://thatsmalayalam.oneindia.in/movies/news/042302filmchamber.html Thats Malayalam: Foolishness, your name is film chamber] ] . In January 2004, the AMMA decided to participate in an award night conducted by
Asianet, a private TV channel to be held on 7 March 2004. The Kerala Film Chamber of Commerce objected the move claiming that it is a breach of an agreement between the two parties which had provisions against the AMMA's members appearing in stage and television shows. Further, the Chamber president, Siyad Kokker warned that all the production work will be halted from 8 March 2004 unless the AMMA refrain from the show [ [http://www.hinduonnet.com/2004/02/01/stories/2004020105540400.htm The Hindu: Film chamber threatens to halt production] ] . The Malayalam Cine Technicians Association (MACTA), which first took a stand in favour of the Film Chamber, later decided to maintain a neutral stand in the issue [ [http://www.hindu.com/2004/03/05/stories/2004030502960500.htm The Hindu: MACTA to take a neutral stand] ] . AMMA was put under pressure by some comments made by senior actors Thilakanand Lalu Alex against AMMA. Lalu Alex particularly accused that "the AMMA had betrayed the Film Chamber after signing an agreement" [ [http://www.hindu.com/2004/04/18/stories/2004041805230400.htm The Hindu: Lalu Alex reiterates charge] ] . On 16 April 2004, the AMMA called a press meet in which they demanded changes in agreement with film chamber. They claimed that certain points in the agreement were equivalent to the denial of freedom and rights of the artistes and also detrimental to the growth of the Malayalam film industry, and sought removal of them from the agreement.
The AMMA's concerns regarding the clauses of the agreement:
#In the case of remuneration to be paid by the producer to the artiste, there was no guarantee that was assured in the agreement.
#The agreement will be in force till the film is released and would in effect prevent an artiste from associating with any other project.
#The ban prohibiting an artiste from taking part in star nites or stage shows in India and abroad for a period of 12 months from the date of agreement.
#The ban for an artiste to associate themselves with any programmes, including those for the television channels, which were likely to be telecast without the written consent of the Kerala Film Chamber of Commerce [ [http://www.hindu.com/2004/04/18/stories/2004041805230400.htm The Hindu: AMMA seeks changes in agreement with film chamber] ] .
While the Film Chamber was adamant on modifying the agreement, the AMMA went forward with the stage programme on 7 March 2004, which further deepened the crisis. The production works in Malayalam film industry halted as both sides remained firm on their stands; the AMMA kept its members from working for any film till the stand-off gets over and the Chamber halted the production works of films. A series of dramatic events followed, which gave new dimensions to the crisis. The first of them was the formation of Malayalam Film Chamber of Commerce vis-à-vis Kerala Film Chamber of Commerce on 10 March 2004. The former consisted of a number of film producers, artistes and other workers. The body set its objective as to keep unity among members of the film industry and to work for their economic, social and professional growth. The officials also claimed that it was not a parallel body to the Kerala Film Chamber of Commerce [ [http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2004/03/12/stories/2004031200321700.htm Business Line: New Malayalam film chamber constituted] ] . However, the formation of the Malayalam Film Chamber of Commerce had little effect on the crisis. The
Government of Keralagot involved in the controversy after an AMMA delegation met the then-Chief Minister A. K. Antonyand requested the Goveremnet's help in solving the crisis. Antony directed the Kerala Information and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, M.M. Hassan and the Minister for Food and Culture, G. Karthikeyan to hold talks with the Kerala Film Chamber of Commerce. The mediatory efforts by the State Government ended soon on 25 Mrch 2004 as the Chamber refused to involve the AMMA in the talks citing the reson that it does not "recognise" AMMA. The Chamber representatives also informed the Government that there is "no crisis" in the industry [ [http://www.thehindubusinessline.com/2004/03/27/stories/2004032700321700.htm Business Line: Kerala Govt withdraws from talks with film industry] ] . Meanwhile, a number of AMMA members conducted a star night programme in Dubaion 26 April 2004, further deepening the crisis. The AMMA's stand was worsened on 28 April 2004, when young actor Prithvirajopenly challenged the AMMA and joined a film directed by Vinayan, titled "Sathyam" after signing the controversial agreement. He insisted that he did not want to disobey the AMMA, but he could not let his career suffer as well. He claimed that he did not find any of the 21 clauses in the agreement as harmful to the interests of the artistes [ [http://www.hindu.com/2004/04/30/stories/2004043012060500.htm The Hindu: Prithviraj defies AMMA, to act in film] ] . Parallelly works on another film titled "Manju Poloru Penkutty" started; the film being directed by Kamal with Lalu Alex and Suresh Krishna in the major cast. Suresh Krishna was another actor who challenged the AMMA's stand. Other cast in both films were either from outside Kerala or were not members of the AMMA. The crisis went through many ups and downs when the MACTA accused the AMMA general secretary Mohanlalof playing dirty (28 March), directors Priyadarshan and T. K. Rajeev Kumar participated in the AMMA star nite on 6 March, the AMMA pulled out of the non-cooperation (18 March), the Chamber drafted new agreement (20 March) and the AMMA's first approval(4 April) [ [http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/Cities/Thirupuram/AMMA_surrenders_to_producers/articleshow/msid-600840,curpg-1.cms The Times of India: AMMA surrenders to producers] ] and then disapproval(17 April)) [ [http://thatsmalayalam.oneindia.in/movies/news/archive/amma-filmchamber-rift.html Thats Malayalam: AMMA-Film Chamber rift] ] of the new agreement (which was signed by Prithviraj, Thilakan and Lalu Alex). The crisis came to an end on 3 June 2004 when the AMMA and the Chamber came in terms with the new agreement. The Chamber obliged to alter 2 clauses in the agreement. The changes were [ [http://thatsmalayalam.oneindia.in/movies/news/060404amma-chamber.html Thats Malayalam: Crisis in Malayalam film industry solved] ] :
1. Clause 17: "Original Clause": Artistes should get permission from the Chamber for taking part in stage programmes.: "Changed to": Artistes need to infrom the Chamber about taking part in stage programmes.2. Clause 21: "Original Clause": The Chamber is the body which will take decisions in case of disputes.: "Changed to": A combined forum consisting of selected members of the Chamber, the AMMA and the MACTA will be the arbitration body in case of disputes.
The AMMA's decision to abide by the new agreement put an end to the crisis that lasted about 4 months. The artistes who defied the AMMA during the crisis, namely Prithviraj, Suresh Krishna Lalu Alex, Bheeman Raghu, Captain Raju, Meera Jasmine and Kaviyoor Renuka expressed their apology at an AMMA meeting on 13 June 2004 in response to a show-cause notice from the AMMA, further loosening the situation [ [http://thatsmalayalam.oneindia.in/movies/news/061404amma_stars.html Thats Malayalam: Stars made apology in AMMA meeting] ] . However a fresh crisis surfaced with the Chamber's decision to go ahead with an indefinite "Cinema Bandh" starting on 15 June 2004 seeking reduction of electricity rate slash for supply to cinema halls and reduction in entertainment tax [ [http://thatsmalayalam.oneindia.in/movies/news/060904film_industry.html Thats Malayalam: Film industry headed for another crisis] ] . The bandh was called off on 2 July 2004 after the State Goverenment assured to take positive stand on the demands of the Chamber [ [http://thatsmalayalam.oneindia.in/movies/news/070304cinema-bandh.html Thats Malayalam: Cinema bandh withdrawn] ] .
* [http://thatsmalayalam.oneindia.in/movies/news/archive/amma-filmchamber-rift.html Thats Malayalam: All stories on AMMA-Film Chamber rift]
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