Producer of National Film Award-winning ‘Thanga Meengal’ sees vindication for backing the right kind of films

The Tamil film industry has had much to celebrate when it comes to the recent 61 National Film Awards. The crew of ‘Thalaimuraigal’, led by producer M. Sasikumar of Company Productions, paid tribute to the auteur Balu Mahendra at a function organised in Prasad Studios.

The other award-winning team of the film ‘Thanga Meengal’— including director Ram, child artiste Sadhana, lyricist Na. Muthukumar and producer J. Satish Kumar — met the media to express their gratitude for the support.

Mr. Satish Kumar, who has a penchant for backing several dark horses at the box office including ‘Aarohanam’ and ‘Paradesi,’ said the award was a vindication for backing the right kind of films. “I have produced nearly 15 films so far, and there have been occasions when the going has been really tough. Backing ‘Thanga Meengal’ was emotional because of the father-daughter relationship it explored. The award is just the tonic I needed,” he said.

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As soon as news broke on Wednesday afternoon that Kochadaiiyaan was not going to release on Friday, the race was on among producers to make good the sudden windfall of screens originally blocked for the ‘Superstar’ Rajinikanth film.

Two films that have made good the situation seem to be comedy star Santhanam’s home production ‘Vallavanukku Pullum Aayutham’ , the remake of the Telugu superhit “Mariyada Ramanna’, and R.S. Infotainment’s ‘Yaamirukka Bayamey’ starring Kreshna.

While Yaamirukka Bayamey will release on May 9, Santhanam’s solo-hero debut will hit the screens on May 10.

This is the second time Santhanam seems set to reap the rewards of an unexpected availability of screens. His first home production, ‘Kanna Laddu Thinna Aasaya’, hit the screens last year on Pongal day, when the other big release, Kamal Hassan’s ‘Vishwaroopam’, was delayed could not releasebecause of controversy surrounding it.

Most industry insiders say these sorts of delays in film releases, especially of blockbuster ones, even while helping a few producers, by and large damage the reputation of the box office.

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For many, reading through old newspapers and journals is like treasure-hunting. Somewhere in those faded lines there is a story that has been packed away in a dusty old box for years. And when the film industry is celebrating its centenary, a leading Tamil publication has compiled events, scandals, gossips and romantic stories from its archives and brought out an encyclopaedia on Tamil film industry.

Named ‘Varalaatru Suvadugal’ (Historical prints), the first volume of the book which was released recently, talks about ‘Kalidas’, the first Tamil movie, and covers films up to the 80s. Superstar of the yesteryears Tyagaraja Bhagavathar’s ‘Haridas’ that saw three Deepavalis at the box office, the banning of the film ‘Tyaga Bhoomi’ and the tussle between Banumathi and Chinnappa — the must-read compilation for film-lovers covers all this and more.

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