AMMA considers building shooting floor in Kochi

Kochi, June 30 (IANS) The 19th annual general body meeting of the Association of Malayalam Movie Artistes (AMMA) met Sunday and decided to undertake a feasibility study on the construction of a shooting floor here, an office bearer said.

Speaking to IANS, Edavela Babu, AMMA secretary, said such a facility would find many takers since the state's film industry had a large presence in Kochi.

"We have found that about Rs.5 crore would be required for the construction of a shooting floor, and are looking for two acres of land. Kochi is the focal point of our industry and we know its potential. The shooting floor would come up on the city's outskirts, considering the huge cost of land," Babu said.

Of the 442 AMMA members, 275 took part in the general body meeting. One notable absentee was superstar Mohanlal, who is in Europe in connection with his daughter's admission to a college.

Another significant decision taken at the meeting was a hike in the monthly pension given to aging artistes.

"Currently there are 79 artistes on the pension scheme, today (Sunday) we added another 25, and hiked the pension from Rs.4,000 to Rs.5,000. Another decision taken today was to introduce a scheme under which the initial sum of Rs.12,000 would be given to the state to run the pension scheme of artistes who are not members of the AMMA. Through this, from next month onwards, 50 artistes from various fields who are above age 60 will get a monthly pension of Rs.1,000," said Babu.

The AMMA secretary said the organisation president's speech Sunday was the highlight of the meeting, Babu said.

AMMA president and ace comedian and character artiste Innocent, who successfully underwent treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma recently after being diagnosed with the condition a year ago, said: "The fever raging in the state appears to have taken a toll on our members too, as many could not take part because of being down with fever."

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