Days after the title announcement of the upcoming Sasikumar-starrer Common Man, the proprietor of AGR Right Films, AG Raja, has sent a legal notice to the Tamil film’s makers claiming that the rights of that title rest with him.
On December 23, Chendur Films International released the title teaser of Common Man, directed by filmmaker Sathyasiva. Speaking to Silverscreen India, the director had said that it will be a suspense thriller about a common man – a sound engineer played by Sasikumar.
As per the legal notice issued on Wednesday, and accessed by us, AGR Right Films claims that the title ‘Common Man‘ was registered with the Tamil Nadu Film Producers Council (TFPC) in September 2018 by Annai Film Factory for a film that was to be helmed by a debut director named Vijay Anand. This project was subsequently taken over by Sri Hari Film Makers and the title was again registered with the South India Film Chamber of Commerce in 2020 and then renewed until July 2022.
The notice goes on to add that AGR Right Films obtained this project from Sri Hari Film Makers on August 26, 2021 and the title Common Man was also officially transferred to them. The transfer was informed to the film chamber, which issued an acknowledgment certificate for the same.
AGR alleges that Chendur Films International has “connivingly” obtained the certificate for the Common Man title from the TFPC. The notice further says that AGR Right Films communicated this to the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce, which, in turn, informed the TFPC. “It further appears that Tamil Film Producers Council has also conveyed the same to you that the title ‘Common Man‘ has been registered with Tamil Film Producers Council as early as 2018,” says the notice addressed to Chendur Films, adding that AGR was therefore in “deep shock” when the title was recently circulated on social media as that of the upcoming Sasikumar-starrer.
Attaching all the certificates issued by the film organisations in regard to the title, the notice claims that Chendur had “clandestinely obtained” a certificate from the TFPC and calls the action “highly unjust and immoral.”
It also alleges that AGR’s financiers have stepped back after seeing the title being used by Chendur Films.
The notice concludes by asking Chendur to refrain from using the title and demanding the removal of all posts that have been circulated thus far, noting that failure to comply will result in AGR approaching the courts for legal action.
While Chendur Films International has not officially commented on the issue, a source close to the film unit, on condition of anonymity, told Silverscreen India, “The team has officially registered the title with the concerned film bodies. Only after doing the necessary paperwork has the title been announced. The production house is not sure how this problem arose.”