Kollywood wages a secret war

CHENNAI: DMK president M Karunanidhi may have his roots in tinsel town. His party might have also roped in a few stars, particularly one like comedian Vadivelu, to campaign for its candidates. But a hush-hush campaign that is on in Kollywood is likely to turn detrimental to the DMK and its allies.

With the view to liberating Tamil cinema from the clutches of the State’s ‘first family’, more than 20,000 members of the extended film fraternity, residing in localities like Kodambakkam, Vadapalani, T Nagar, Virugambakkam and Valasaravakkam, have embarked on a ‘word of mouth campaign’ against DMK.

“Every person is requesting at least 10 family members to vote for the AIADMK to save Kollywood from the DMK family,” a cameraman said, on condition of anonymity. “I am a follower of Thanthai Periyar and have never voted for any other party except the DMK in my life. But now I am forced to vote for the AIADMK though I loath that party,” he said.

When asked why the film employees are so agitated, an insider said that several film producers, who make low budget feature films, had disappeared from the scene after members of the State’s first family bulldozed their way into Kollywood.

Of the 1,300 cinema halls in Tamil Nadu, majority are controlled by the production houses owned by various members of the first family. This has resulted in paucity of theatres for the other producers, forcing them to stop making movies. Another film employee said the reduction in the number of films being produced had made an adverse impact on the livelihood of workers in different trades in the industry.

Pointing out that the number of shooting days had gone down, the employee said: “Five years ago, our minimum shooting days in a year was over 250. Now, it is less than 100 days.”

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