Vishal’s tenure as President of the Tamil Nadu Film Producers Council has spawned many controversies. The latest in that long line is a statement by a group of dissenting producers who want Vishal to call for a fresh round of elections soon.
The producers allegations financial irregularities, failure to fulfill election promises, lack of action on piracy among other things. They have also allegedly locked the T Nagar office of the TFPC. Initial reports say they plan to hand over the keys to the nearest police station. The dissenting producers also plan to protest in front of the Anna Salai office of the TFPC.
According to a list of complaints against Vishal in circulation, the producers say that Vishal has done a number of things without due consent from the general body.
The producers allege that the council formed to streamline the film release process in the industry has not been effective. The members have acted in a way that can be considered unfair and partial, say the producers. They allege that Vishal shut down the TFPC’s monthly newsletter and also did not take any action to fill up posts that were vacated by Gnanavelraja, Udhaya and RK Suresh. They also alleged that the producers Council account had around Rs 7.8 Crores at the time Vishal stepped in as President. Now, seven crores have vanished from the account.
They also question the presence of Producer SS Durairaj in the council, in direct contradiction of TFPC rules that prohibit a person who has not produced a film in the last five years. The allegation is that Durairaj was inducted into the council illegally.
The Ilaiyaraaja concert to be held in February on behalf of the TFPC has also been condemned. The dissenting producers allege that the issue was never brought before the general body and was decided arbitrarily by Vishal himself.
The producers say that the TFPC has suffered huge losses due to Vishal’s actions, namely his decision to align the TFPC with the FEFSI and also the decision to steer clear of digital companies like Qube and UFO. While Vishal engineered the revolt against Qube and UFO, complaining about the high rates they charged, the ground reality has not changed, say the producers. In fact, the companies have hiked up their charges.
Vishal has also not made good on his election manifesto. Vishal, after winning the TFPC election, said that he would not collect the membership fee of Rs 3 lakhs without the consent of the general body. He also said he would build houses for all the members. None of these things have happened. The houses have not been built and new producers have still been asked to pay Rs 3 lakhs without bringing the matter before the general body, the producers allege.
In light of these issues, Vishal must convene the general body as soon as possible, explain his side of things and call for a fresh round of elections, the producers say. Vishal only has three months left in his tenure, the producers added.
The producers say that Vishal rented an expensive premise for a new office. The previous leadership functioned out of premises that cost the council Rs 10,000 per month. The new office has a rent of Rs 2 lakhs per month. An advance of Rs 20 lakhs was given. The producers question the necessity behind such an extravagance.
They also want to know what happened to the money taken from producers at the time of the release of their films for the anti piracy wing. They allege that an amount of Rs 1 lakh was taken as fee. A report about ways to combat piracy was provided to the TFPC but no action was taken, they say.
Vishal is also being questioned on his claim that he has made arrangements for the TFPC to benefit from content provided to cable television. The actor allegedly said that an amount of Rs 1.5 crores can be made per month. The producers want to know where this money has been deposited.
A spokesperson for Vishal says that these complaints have not been intimated to Vishal. A formal statement is likely soon, he said.