A stay order has been issued on Alaudhinin Arputha Camera, directed and produced by Naveen, starring him and Anandhi in the lead. The order is in response to a petition filed by producer Swarna Sethuraman of Flash Films, who has alleged that over a year ago he gave Naveen Rs 50 lakhs for pre-production works for a film with Vishagan Vanangamudi – Sethuraman’s nephew and Rajinikanth’s son-in-law. The project didn’t take off due to various reasons, and the producer now claims that Naveen didn’t use the amount for pre-production works and he ought to have returned it.

In response to the stay order, Naveen has issued a statement saying Sethuraman’s allegations are baseless, and the order hinders his plans of releasing Alaudhinin Arputha Camera this summer.

In a detailed explanation, Naveen said that in 2016 he was approached to make a film starring Vishagan, to be produced by Sethuraman. They signed an agreement on August 23, and on August 31 he narrated the script to Vishagan. However, they could not begin shoot as the producers cited reasons like demonetisation and personal issues in the family, and a year later, dropped the project.

Speaking to Silverscreen, Naveen says the agreement was signed on a first copy basis and he travelled to the US for pre-production work, with the expenses exceeding Rs 50 lakhs. Sethuraman later asked him to return Rs 20 lakhs, which Naveen says was not advance but amount meant for pre-production work. “Moreover, as per the agreement I am not entitled to narrate the script, but I met Vishagan to discuss every shot of the film. Vishagan even said how impressed and excited he was.”

Naveen has approached the Directors’ Union, and has filed a petition in court challenging the stay order. He says he has all evidence in his favour and is confident about winning the case.

Meanwhile, producer Sethuraman has maintained that Naveen did not narrate any script to them, and the money was not spent on production work. A ToI report quotes the producer who says there was an attempt made by the TFPC to sort out this issue. But Naveen refused to come, “I then filed a case in the court as I was left with no options.” In response to this Naveen says that he got a call from TFPC only after the case was filed and it will unlawful for the council to take up the case when the matter was in court.

This is Naveen’s second film after Moodar Koodam, and the story of the film follows the life of a man with a camera, and his encounters with hitmen and Anandhi’s pickpocket in various touristy spots in Europe. It was scheduled to release this month.