A Cracker Of A Contest

Posted in Cinema, Tamil, TV by Suganth on October 22, 2011

This Deepavali, the fireworks will also be on your home screens…

When it comes to Tamil Nadu, Deepavali is not just about crackers, new clothes or even new movie releases. It is also about movie premieres on TV. While the television premieres scene during last few years might not have been as sparkling as a decade earlier, the competition between channels to outdo each other with movie premieres has become quite intense this year.

Consider the films that are being premiered on D-Day— Suriya’s Singam (Sun TV), Arya’s Boss Engira Baskaran (Kalaignar TV), Jiiva’s Vandhaan Vendraan (Jaya TV), Vikram’s Raavanan (Raj TV) and Vishal and Arya’s Avan Ivan (Vijay TV). Reportedly, Sun TV is also planning to premiere Karthi’s Aayirathil Oruvan and Jayam Ravi’s Engeyum Kadhal on the day as well. What is striking is that all these films hit the screens only in 2010 or later. And it is not just films featuring big stars that are in demand on the television circuit. Brand new films like Nootrenbadhu, Payanam, Etthan (Polimer TV) have also been slotted as premieres.

Though none were willing to go on record, industry insiders say that the change in the government has liberated producers who earlier sold their films to channels belonging to members of the then ruling party to be in their good books. A case in point is Vandhaan Vendraan, which is being shown on Jaya TV just after 40 days of its release (September 16, 2011). The channel which was keeping a low profile when in comes to acquiring new films has really surprised everyone by bagging the rights to this film.

However, Jaya TV’s vice president of programming, G V Prakkash insists that there has been no policy change on account of the change in government. “The policy has not changed. Every year, we have bought mid-level films. It all depends on the producers and whichever channel they want to sell the film rights to. That is why Vijay TV was able to bag Eeram. The reason they (Sun TV and Kalaignar TV) were able to telecast big films was because most of the movies were produced or marketed by them,” he says.

Kalaignar TV’s general manger Florent C Pereira says that the policy of the channel when it comes to acquiring films is focused on the quality of the film. “That is why we have bough the rights of six of the 11 films that were recently sent for the Tamil Film Festival in Russia. And when it comes to blockbusters, other than Boss Engira Baskran, we have also acquired the rights of blockbusters like Ko, Manmadhan Ambu, Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa, Naan Mahaan Alla and Paiyya,” he says. Interestingly, three of these films and Boss were produced or distributed by Udayanidhi Stalin!

“Sky is the limit,” says Pereira when it comes to the budget that the channel has allocated to acquire films. “That is how we were able to get the rights of Rajinikanth’s Sivaji at the time of its release,” he adds.

Sources say that a big star film or a blockbuster fetches anywhere between Rs 3 to 5 crore while the rate for smaller films depends on the interested channel and the producer. But whatever the case may be, ultimately, in the present climate, it is going to a real dhamaka for viewers.

Copyright ©2011 Chennai Times

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