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Nov-09-2011 17:25printcomments

Gen Y Tamil filmmakers say no to Sri Lanka

The Sri Lankan government is responding in kind by banning the release of controversial Tamil films that talk well about Tamilians.

Sasikumar has decided not to release Porali in Sri Lanka

(CHENNAI, India) - They’ve finally come out and said it in no uncertain terms.

After showing their solidarity for the oppressed Tamils in Sri Lanka in various ways, like going on a one-day token fast, resolving not to shoot Tamil films in the island nation and not to take part in any of the shows there, Gen Y Tamil filmmakers have sent a clear message.

Path-breaking director/producer Sasikumar’s bold decision not to release his upcoming flick Porali in Sri Lanka has made the industry folk sit up and take notice of the serious situation.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lankan government is responding in kind by banning the release of controversial Tamil films that talk well about Tamilians. They either object to those dialogues which speak highly of Sri Lankan Tamils or else butcher them by sending them to their censor reviewing committee.

Another option is for them to straightaway ban such films. The recent Diwali release, Suriya starrer 7 Aum Arivu, which had a few dialogues referring to the island nation, encountered a similar fate. There was a dialogue which went like this — ‘Nine countries joining together to attack a single country is not called courage; it’s betrayal’

Sources also say that the character Bodhidharman (played by Suriya), portrayed as a Buddhist monk of Tamil origin, didn’t go down well with the Sinhalese audiences. The government objected to this dialogue and asked for a few more cuts before they allowed 7 Aum Arivu’s release. A peeved Sasikumar condemned this and that was when he announced that he would ensure that Porali would not hit the screens in Lanka.

Fumed the Pasanga producer, “Who are they to ban our films? We will take action and I will not release my film Porali, which also features me in the lead role, in the island nation. I will not sell the Foreign Management Screening Rights often referred to as FMS to anyone there, although a part of my revenue will get affected,” he reportedly said. He also urged others in the industry to take a similar stand.

Supporting Sasikumar, director Vetri Maaran says, “I totally agree with Sasikumar. If I am in the decision making position, I would undoubtedly say ‘Say No to Sri Lanka’ to my films.”

Udhayanidhi Stalin made his position clear. “Yes, we did face certain problems while releasing 7 Aum Arivu in our neighboring country. They asked us to remove some of the dialogues and muted words in a few places before approving its release. As for my other future films’ release in Sri Lanka, I would go by our Tamil Film Producer’s Council’s advice on this sensitive issue”.

One may recall the swift action taken by the then-Council against actress Asin, who visited Sri Lanka to shoot her Bollywood film and again in the case of the recent visit of a few playback singers, including Mano and Krish.

TFPC clears, “The Producers’ Council will always strive to support their members when it comes to increasing revenue. But this is something which is very delicate and a collective decision on the issue has to be taken only in the General Body Meeting”, opined Kalaipuli Thanu, Treasurer of TFPC.

“In a year, more than a hundred Tamil films are being released. Even if the revenue from Sri Lanka on an average is around Rs 10 lakh per movie, and if we take the decision of not releasing it in the island nation, the collective loss will be around Rs 10 crores, which is a huge amount! So, the matter has to be handled with a lot of sensitivity,” says a veteran producer on condition of anonymity.

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