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Vichithiran: Makers Caught in Legal Tussle After Sathish Kumar and Bala Plan Films With Same Title

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Still from 'Vichithiran' film starring RK Suresh

Vichithiran, the upcoming Tamil film starring actor-producer RK Suresh and a remake of the 2018 Malayalam film crime thriller Joseph, is caught in a legal tussle over the film’s title.

Produced by filmmaker Bala under his banner B Studios, the film is helmed by M Padmakumar, who has also directed Joseph. The film is expected to release in February.

Sathish Kumar, a producer and owner of CSK Productions, claimed that he had registered the title Vichithiran in 2015. Sathish is currently working on his film, also titled Vichithiran, which has completed the pre-production stage. He said he was planning to begin shooting when the issue over the title came up.

Speaking to Silverscreen India, Sathish said that he had registered his script in February 2020.

“I had registered the title Vichithiran in 2015 with the Film and Television Producer Guild of South India and since then, I have been paying fees every year to retain the title,” Sathish said.

The payment for the title had been renewed till March, Sathish said and added that he had submitted receipts of fee payments of the title registration as evidence in the case.

“I came to know that filmmakers of the other film registered the same title with the Tamil Film Producers Council [TFPC] in 2018,” Sathish said.

Advocate Kathiresan, who is representing CSK Productions, said that Sathish had sent a letter to the Guild on September 26, 2020, a few days after the first look of Bala’s Vichithiran was released, stating that they had used his registered title. After Bala failed to respond, he sent a mail on October 5, 2020, as a reminder to the Guild. After the teaser of Bala’s Vichithiran released, Sathish filed a suit on January 11, 2021.

The case was being heard at the City Civil Court in Chennai on Tuesday. During the hearing, the court asked four parties- Suresh, Bala’s B Studios, TFPC, and the Guild- to reply.

“Despite being a member of the Guild and requesting them to take up the case, I have not received any update. I have been looking into this issue ever since the first look poster was released,” said Sathish.

The next date of hearing has been scheduled for January 25.

Advocate VV Giridhar, who is representing Sathish, told Silverscreen India: “We had already registered it [the film’s title] in 2015 and there was an understanding between both the film bodies’ that they will not use the titles registered by the other body. There will be confusion if two films by the same name release at the same time.”

Speaking to Silverscreen India, Suresh, who is also the vice president of TFPC, said: “We had registered the title in the producers’ council. We are looking into it legally. CSK Productions has not produced any film so far and hence, we will have to raise a complaint in the council and take action against it. Since they [CSK Productions] have not made any film yet, it needs to be checked if they are misusing or intending malpractices by registering names of films that are not used by them.”

Suresh added that they will be initiating legal action soon.

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