Rumours say that a show-cause notice has been sent to the office bearers of Tamil Film Producers Council’s Vishal Krishna, Kathiresan, SS Durairaj and SR Prabhu, by Balasubramaniam, the under secretary to Tamil Nadu Government, seeking explanation for allegedly mishandling of the council’s funds. TFPC treasurer, producer SR Prabhu has denied receiving any notice.
SR Prabhu told Silverscreen that the media was being used to spread these rumours, “If there was a notice sent we would know first. This is an ugly game, and at the end of the day it is going to affect the producers. Please don’t be supportive of this. In what way is it going to help the producers or the industry?”
However, T Siva, one of the producers dissenting against TFPC, told Silverscreen that it was true that a notice had been sent by the under secretary, and this was in response to the complaint raised by them. He said, “We complained against council irregularities, mishandling and misuse of funds, and undersecretary has said that these allegations have been proved. A notice has been individually sent to the four office bearers, demanding a reply. If there is no response, they will be arrested.”
He also said, “We put in work to legally verify, audit papers showing irregularities. Only then we took action and raised complaints. After Vishal became president of TFPC nothing has happened as per rules, and this can’t continue with the trust’s funds. Rs 7.5 crore was there initially, and right now, after Ilaiyaraaja 75 event, only Rs 50 lakh is remaining. With legal action we will know who did the crime.”
The TFPC has been in the centre of controversy for a while. A group of dissenting producers have alleged irregularities in the council’s functioning, financial irregularities, authoritarian decision making by Vishal, and other issues. In December 2018, the conflict between the two factions intensified when the offices of the council was locked and sealed by the dissenting producers, and Vishal was arrested by the police. The Madras High Court released him and ordered the offices to be opened but also appointed Partheipan to the executive board.
Meanwhile, an audio note about the delay in release of the film Pottu has been doing the rounds. The film released today, but it has been in production since January 2016 and could not release due to non-availability of screens. A person believed to be the producer of the film said that the delay was because of the unresponsiveness of the TFPC.
“We were trying to release the film Pottu for so long, we were asked to approach different people in the council, but no one picked up their phones, no one responded to us. Why have a union then? If we speak about this it’s seen as wrong, but we can’t remain quiet about this when it’s making us angry. TFPC used to be a great council in the past, with producers even calling us to ask if they could help. But now it’s become the only council that doesn’t even answer calls.”
The producers of the film have been unreachable to verify if the audio note was released by them. Pottu is horror film directed by Vadivudaiyan, and stars Bharath, Iniya, Manisha Yadav, Rajendran and Namitha in the lead. It is produced by John Max of Shalom Studios. The film completed post production by mid-2017.