“The Tamil film industry has been functioning sans a spinal cord. It would get a new lease of life only when separate Associations to exclusively cater to the wants and needs of the industry are formed,” are the words of wisdom expressed by veteran film-maker Bharathiraaja.
Bharathiraaja was speaking in Chennai at the audio launch function of an upcoming film titled Gnana Kirukkan. After releasing the audio cassettes and CDs of the film, he said “I don’t agree with the presence of the South Indian Film Chamber here; in fact, we have been opposing its presence for the past many years. When we started making Tamil films, we made bodies such as South Indian Cine Artistes’ Association, South Indian Film Chambar, FEFSI, etc.
“Artistes from all the four South Indian languages were invariably staying at Chennai in those days. When States were divided on linguistic lines, the Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada film industries formed their respective artistes’ association and other bodies. However, Kollywood lagged back in this and never thought of forming Tamil Artistes’ Association. This has resulted in many of us not getting invites for the just-concluded ceremony in Chennai to mark the centenary celebrations of Indian cinema.
“Had we had our own bodies, we could have received invites. We ought to have self-esteem and autonomy which would help us in many ways. Let’s form Tamil Artistes’ Association and Tamil Film Chamber, etc.,” he said and added that “Ilaiyadevan, the director of Gnana Kirukkan, had made a film sans any filmy ‘smell’ and appears to follow my footsteps!”