Press meets are usually organised and conducted for the sole purpose of informing journalists and reporters about a particular film that is due for release in the coming weeks.
The cast and crew share their experiences working in the film, thank one another enthusiastically and ask of the media to support and appreciate their film wholeheartedly.
But in recent times, some of the film crews look at it as an opportunity to express their personal opinions, struggles, and displeasure on certain decisions defeating the actual purpose of the gathering. While sometimes it delves into their life stories, sometimes it’s about something they represent. The most recent example being the Adho Andha Paravi Pola press meet.
One of the crew members, Thirumalai, walked up to the dais and spoke about how they are the most affected before the release of a film while the rest of the crew is living off the fat of the land. Although he tried to talk about the film, he kept reiterating the work of a producer. Eventually, it went on to how the producer council has to be more efficient for the purpose of launching new producers, the count of which has reduced tremendously since 2018.
He also added that the board of directors at the producer council aren’t able to come up with proper rules and restrictions for the industry unlike other prominent ones. He began to quote directors Vikraman, RK Selvamani and even playwright SV Sekhar who was also present at the meet about how they’re strong with their opinions and decisions. The current producer council president’s name and the money allegedly laundered by the same was also brought up, exacerbating the state of an already uncomfortable audience.
SV Sekhar educated the gathering on how the special officers, and the nine-member advisory panel of which he is a part of has no power to influence such important decisions. He spoke of how producers shell out more than what they are capable of and expect a lump sum in return without sticking to their budget. “Tamil Nadu is the only state that isn’t regulated in the cinema business and we’re all aware of it. There is no point in crying and blaming each other after the release of a film when you don’t stick to your budget,” he said.
He also quoted Thirumalai’s statement of how few producers trail artists and don’t stay true to their work by comparing it to a car purchased. “When you buy a car, you don’t only look at it’s colour and finalise. You familiarise yourself with the engine power, resale value and much more. When so much goes behind the purchase of a car, I won’t blame a producer for trailing actors all the time. When their aim is to invest in an artist, they must carefully weigh the pros and cons behind it,” said Sekhar.
Although the statements made were well within the business of cinema, it surely wasn’t the place for a discussion. A similar incident happened about two years ago at the Jiiva–Nikki Galrani starrer Kee audio launch. The statements didn’t go down well with the press as well as actor Vijay Sethupathi who was a special guest for the event.
Watch the Kee audio launch here.