A group of producers raise a red flag against Vishal
A few Tamil film producers convened a press conference yesterday, asking for Vishal to be removed from his post as President of the Producers Council
Two days after a website alleged that the Tamil Film Producers Council President Vishal had struck a deal with Lyca Productions after allegedly discovering their role in film piracy, a few Tamil film producers convened a press conference, asking for Vishal to be removed from his post.
Producer K Radhakrishnan, who called for the press conference that was attended by almost 40 producers, told us that there are additional grouses some producers have with the present administration. "Vishal got elected to office in April 2017. When he assumed office, he said he will resign in 11 months if he doesn't deliver on his promises and it has been 14 months and he still hasn't delivered. When I was part of the last council, an amount of 7 crore was deposited in the bank and now it has been used up without permission." He added, "Till the last term of Thanu, no administration has ever touched this FD. Vishal's team said that it will generate its own money but it doesn't seem to have happened. Till it was managed by Thanu, a general body meeting was always held within 45 days of assuming office, but we haven't had a meeting till now."
Other complaints include the 48-day strike, and the organising of a fundraiser recently. "The strike was not beneficial to producers. Instead Vishal took actors to shoot in Malaysia and tried to fundraise," he said. "And most importantly, during the Thupparivalan audio launch, he said he was close to solving the menace of piracy. But he didn't take any action and instead Lyca, which is thought to be behind some of the piracy, has made a deal with Vishal to alleviate his debts. We are asking for a general body meeting to look into these issues."
SR Prabhu, Treasurer, TFPC, who didn't attend today's meet, dismissed these allegations. "It has always been a procedure to put forward the account of the previous administration before we put forward ours. AGMs always happen only once a year. I do not understand how suddenly they feel like they want to have it. This section of producers had earlier disrupted the meeting and they were suspended because of that. Now them asking why we haven't conducted a meeting is laughable," he said. "We have just finished with the strike and everyone knows what we have done for the industry. Now that everything is functioning smoothly, we will convene a new AGM soon. It is in the works."
When asked about allegations that Prakash Raj and Gautham Vasudev Menon, who are both Vice Presidents of the TFPC, have not attended any meetings in the last nine months, Prabhu outright refused it, clarifying that they have attended when necessary. "This whole press meet was a con because they sent out a message saying that a press meet of Producers Council was being organised. If they wanted to say something, they could have requested a meeting and taken up the issues with us. It is only an advertisement for themselves they are seeking at this point of time."
On the allegations of Vishal tying up a deal with Lyca to suppress the organisation's involvement in piracy, Prabhu said, "This is absolute nonsense. I do not want to dignify it with a response."
Vishal could not be reached for comment on the issue.