TFPC office at T Nagar locked down; Producers demand Vishal's resignation
The group of producers put forth 18 points to explain why they are discontent with the current leadership and why they demand Vishal's resignation immediately
The Tamil Nadu Film Producers' Council (TFPC) office in T Nagar was the battleground today morning as a group of producers consisting of AL Azhagappan, T Siva, Suresh Kamatchi, and SV Sekhar, among others locked down the office, literally. Kathiresan, the honorary secretary, was on the ground to act as a peacemaker, but he did not have any answers to the questions raised by the opposition group and proceeded to leave the meeting soon after.
The group of producers put forth 18 points to explain why they are discontent with the current leadership and why they demand Vishal's resignation immediately.
"1. The release committee is unregulated and is prejudiced in allocating films for personal gains. One is able to see how the smaller films are increasingly getting disadvantaged thanks to this.
2. The previous group had left behind a fixed deposit of Rs 7.8 crore and the current leadership has misused it. The whereabouts of that particular money is unknown and they aren't opening up their books on the same.
3. When Vishal and team took over, they promised a cable TV income of Rs 1.5 crore per month. Over a period of 18 months, this amounts to 27 crores. Which bank have they deposited it in and what's its current status?
4. They promised abolishment of piracy and have spent lakhs on it. What is the current status?
5. At the audio launch of Thupparivalan, Vishal said we are close to capturing the admin of Tamilrockers and promised the capture in one week. What is the status? At what point did you drop the investigation?
6. Rs 1 lakh was spent on an anti-piracy wing and they gave a report - What steps have been taken? If no steps have been taken, then on whose order is there inaction?
7. The previous group drew a salary of Rs 1.8 lakh per month. Now the current group draws 12 lakhs. Why this increase? What is the use?
8. Previously we used to operate out of the premises of the Chamber building at rent of Rs 10,000. Now this new office has been rented at Rs 2 lakh per month with Rs 20 lakh advance. Why?
9. The amount we used to pay DSPs like Cube and UFO used to be less. We stopped work for 45 days to resolve this - now not only are we paying more than before, but the resultant domino effect is still felt by all producers.
10. A piracy team with Prabhakaran as head was formed. No one even knew who he was and now he seems to have escaped with crores of money. Who all have split it amongst themselves?
11. Nadigar Sangam's decision to not co-operate with Madras Entertainment's S Nandagopal after outstanding salaries to Vishal, Vikram Prabhu, and Vijay Sethupathi is disappointing. We feel as head of Producers Council, Vishal not only didn't condone it but instigated it himself.
12. Prakash Raj and Gautham Menon aren't involved in the day-to-day affairs of the Producers Council. Gnanavel Raja has resigned from his post, while the resignations of TG Thyagarajan, PL Thenappan, RK Suresh and Udhaya have been communicated through media by the individuals themselves. Why haven't these posts been filled?
13. According to bylaws, every year a meeting has to be conducted before September 30 to showcase the accounts as well as take permission for upcoming activities of the next year. The meeting held on December 10, 2017 was abandoned halfway and retired judge RS Ramanathan has filed a report on the same lines. The Annual General Body Meeting has to be immediately called to discuss all these issues.
14. For anyone new who wants to join the Council, it had been decided that a membership fee of Rs 3 lakh will be levied only after the approval of the Council, but the practice is still being followed.
15. Producers Council working hand in hand with FEFSI is problematic to all producers.
16. For the Ilaiyaraaja concert that is reportedly going to be organised by the TFPC, don't you have to get the approval of the Council first? How can this decision be taken on your own? Not setting up a festival committee reeks of dishonesty. Who is Ramana? Is he a committee member? You have even stopped the monthly newsletter we used to get, which has put us all in the dark about the activities of the TFPC. None of your promises from the day you took charge has been fulfilled.
17. An honorary secretary should have made a film and released it within the last five years. SS Durairaj doesn't fit in these rules.
18. Periodical financial updates, notices, etc that have to be sent to keep record haven't been sent. Similarly, a lot of such non-transparent activities have been undertaken that haven't been in keeping with the bylaws of the council.
Because of this, we think Vishal should not continue as the head of TFPC and hence ask him to call for an AGM, give an explanation to the above-mentioned points and announce elections with less than 100 days to go for elections."
Meeting the press, AL Azhagappan said that over 1,300 producers are present in the committee. "With just a phone call we were able to gather this crowd of 250-300 people. Imagine how much angst these people have. This is representative of the entire group and we are now planning to meet the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, and urge him to dismiss the current group and prevent further mismanagement. We also want a new attack committee (a temporary committee with decision making powers) to be formed that will act as stewards while election preparations happen for March 2019."
(This is a developing story)