The early morning shows of 96 were cancelled in the city as the KDM was not delivered. While reports indicate that financial issues are to be blamed for this, the producer of the movie, Nandhagopal, has now said that all issues have since been resolved. He told Silverscreen, “Early morning shows were cancelled but now everything has been resolved. Morning shows will begin soon in theatres across TN.”
Nandhagopal remained mum on the reason behind the issue. However, an audio message by Producer J Sathish Kumar circulating on social media, laid it bare.
In the audio clip, JSK said that Vishal, President of the Tamil Nadu Film Producers Council, blocked the release of 96 over some dues owed by Nandhagopal. “Late night yesterday, Nandhagopal and other producers were involved in a long mediation and they tried to resolve the problem. Nandhagopal owes Vishal money, and the latter held the release of 96 over this.”
Condemning Vishal, JSK went on to say that a person heading an organisation that looks after the welfare of the producers must not indulge in such actions. “As the head of TFPC, he must ideally work towards the welfare of producers and not strangle hold them over trivial issues.”
JSK also mentioned in the audio that Madurai Anbu (aka) Anbazhagan, a financier, was involved in mediating the dispute. When contacted, Anbu chose not to confirm or deny the allegations against Vishal. He said, “Everything is fine now. Actor Vijay Sethupathi has paid out of his pocket to ensure the release of the movie. That’s all. No issues anymore.”
Vishal’s spokesperson denied the charges. “TFPC President Vishal tries hard to prevent such incidents. Why would he indulge in the very act that he wants to eradicate from the industry?”
The TFPC too has closed ranks around its President. Many of the producers contacted refused to comment on the issue or on J Sathish Kumar’s allegations. Even Nandhagopal skated over the allegations when questioned.
JSK, however, stuck to his story. In conversation with Silverscreen, he said that blocking a film’s release to ensure payment of dues is a menace afflicting the industry. “In just two months time, we have seen films like Imaikkaa Nodigal, Seemaraja and now 96, blocked on the day of the release. This is a bad practice that only third grade people follow. Now, when an esteemed member of the film body is doing the same, one has to raise questions. When people from our own community attack us, who do we go to? Stars must intervene. Producers must ask questions. Otherwise, this trend will destroy the film industry. I am saying this merely as a producer and an ardent lover of Tamil cinema.”