Madras Talkies responds to littering controversy
The executive producer of Madras Talkies stresses that the company is socially conscious
In the wake of allegations levelled at Madras Talkies for littering the Kovalam beach after shooting of Chekka Chivantha Vaanam, the company has now responded to us.
Siva Ananth, executive producer of Madras Talkies, says, "We take pride in respecting the sanctity of our shooting locations. For years, our unit members have been trained to use the trash bags we carry with us wherever we go. And once the shoot is over, a team stays back to clean up the place along with local help to ensure that the place is reset to the preshoot conditions. This is one of the reasons we get to shoot in the best locales in the country. The authorities and the people know that we are a responsible production unit and we take good care of their premises."
On the Kovalam issue, he explains, "Similarly, we cleaned up after our shoot. We had about 20 men clean up the place after we packed up. Once we cleaned up and left, we can't be blamed for the pre-existing condition of the place; the fact that the place was littered with trash and broken glass anyway before our shoot is not our responsibility."
He further goes on to stress that the company is socially conscious. "We are as concerned about the environment as anyone else. We have been for many years. It is not acceptable that film professionals are always made to be the bad guys on these issues simply because they are the soft targets. Let us please a look at the trash and dirt along our coastline, and in popular tourist destinations, where no film production has ever stepped in before anybody levels such an accusation only against film units." He concludes by saying Madras Talkies is quite happy to help as necessary. "We are committed to protecting our heritage, and environment, and maintaining order and cleanliness. We are keen to be of help whenever necessary."
After the end of the strike, Mani Ratnam's mega-starrer Chekka Chivantha Vaanam featuring Arvind Swami, Vijay Sethupathi, Simbu, Arun Vijay, Aishwarya Rajesh, Jyothika and Aditi Rao Hydari, started its shoot schedule. The allegations concern the trash found in the Muttukadu estuary area after the film crew left. The presence of broken bottles, abandoned windshields and blank cartridges was allegedly noticed by one of the members of Bay Life Foundation, which regularly conducts beach clean-ups.