RK Selvamani and some other representatives of FEFSI, who met the press earlier today, said that the Producers’ Council was to blame for the strike.
“This is not a personal issue. This is not a new issue, too. This has been going on for quite sometime now. For eight years, they’ve promised to reform the existing conditions of film employees. Every time we wait for some kind of change, but it never comes our way. The shooting of so many films stand cancelled now. Over 10,000 employees don’t have any work at present. This is all the fault of the producers. If they’d resolved the issue like they promised, we wouldn’t be here right now, speaking to you in such a difficult scenario.”
Selvamani said that they plan to take their demands to the TN Government and see if it can help their cause. “If we cannot come to terms with the TFPC, then we will go to the Government and ask them to help with our situation. The producers are not going to earn a lot of profit just because the workers take a pay cut.”
He added: “Nobody can make a movie without FEFSI. You should stop addressing this as a FEFSI strike issue. You should instead focus on the Producers Council’s assertion that they will not work with us anymore. How can they make a movie without us? We are 24,000 people. How can the film industry survive if two such large associations come to blows?”
Reports suggest that the filming of Rajinikanth’s Kaala and Vijay’s Mersal stand cancelled due to the FEFSI strike. The South Indian Cinematographers’ Association, however, has decided to not take part in the strike. It will stay neutral, and would work on films during the strike, if requested to do so by the TFPC.
Meanwhile, a video of Vishal on the sets of his Thupparivalan, reportedly in Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu, went viral on social media. Vishal is said to have recruited film employees from other states in order to finish shoot. Efforts are also on to recruit film employees from other states to work in Tamil films.
This move has been vehemently opposed by FEFSI member, Dhanapal.
“This is precisely the sort of issue we take offence to,” he said. “When they have perfectly good employees here, why should they import from another state? We will not stand for this.”
Yesterday, Prakash Raj, Vice-President, TFPC, had declared, “We are willing to work with FEFSI. It is not that we don’t want to work with them. We don’t want to work only with them. They’ve been dictating terms to the producers for a long time. I feel that it is high time we took a stand on this.”
Also, police protection has been arranged for the all films being shot at present in the state. A spokesperson for the TFPC said, “We’ve received word that some members from the FEFSI might target films being shot during their strike. So, we’ve arranged police protection and private security.”