Thanu For Making Producers’ Mission Possible

By Pickle  March 1, 2021

Kalaipuli S Thanu, President of the Film Federation of India, has lined up a series of initiatives to find solutions to the challenges faced by the film industry. “I subscribe to the school of thought of watching films in a big screen in pitch darkness among audiences,” industry leader and producer Thanu tells Pickle.

Kalaipuli S Thanu, is the President, Film Federation of India for the year 2021-22. He is one of India’s top film producers and distributors. His latest production ‘Karnan’ starring Dhanush, which comes after the duo struck gold in ‘Asuran’, seems to have struck a chord with the audience even before its release. The prolific producer says it all in his latest tweet- It’s 1 crore+ views for #KandaaVaraSollunga Thanks for showering your tremendous love and support for #Karnan.

This kind of response for his movies is not new, for Thanu’s track record boasts of several commercial and critically acclaimed films. The owner of V Creations and Kalaipuli Films International, also holds a special place in Tamil cinema’s history, for being the one who christened actor Rajinikanth with the title ‘Superstar’. Starting off as a distributor in the late 1970s, Thanu’s meteoric rise to one of India’s most popular producers is a success story by itself. Some of his highest grossers over the years include Cooliekkaran, Kizhakku Cheemayile, Kandukondein Kandukondein, Kaakha Kaakha, Thuppakki, Theri, Kabali and the recent Asuran. Not to mention his revolutionary ways when it comes to promoting his movies.

In 2016, movie-goers were in for a surprise, when they got to see posters of actor Rajinikanth and his film Kabali, on commercial flights. It was for the first time in the history of Indian cinema, an airline had dedicated an aircraft to a movie, thanks to Thanu. Apart from his work on movies, Thanu has also been known to voice his opinion on various issues related to the industry. Last month, when the Tamil Nadu government withdrew its permission to allow 100 percent occupancy in cinema halls owing to the pandemic, Thanu, being the president of the Film Federation of India, wrote to Home Minister Amit Shah, requesting him to allow 100 per cent occupancy at least on festival days like Pongal and Republic Day. As an industry leader, Thanu has implemented various reforms and rejuvenation measures for the welfare of the industry in general and producers in particular. He is also known for encouraging young talents.

The National-award winning producer recently added the State government’s Kalaimamani Award to his kitty, which was conferred in recognition of his stellar work in cinema. Excerpts from an interview with him.

What will be your major focus as president of Film Federation of India?

My major objective will be to fight for the rights of the film producers. We need more transparency and unity among various stakeholders of the film industry. This is critical today. We all need to work together to bring back film audiences to theatres to watch films.

The global interest in India and in Indian films has increased in recent times. We are still battling the impact of coronavirus pandemic. Globally, the vaccination programme has begun. It is a positive sign. While the mainstream commercial Indian film sector continues to grow, a new crop of Indian filmmakers has emerged in recent times. This is reflected in the Indian films that have been selected in various global film festivals including Cannes, Toronto, Venice, Busan among others. In recent times, global film festivals have celebrated works of all hues from the diverse movie-making traditions from India. We are extremely proud and happy to celebrate 100th anniversary of Satyajit Ray this year. This is a momentous occasion.

Indian cinema needs to expand its global footprint to get its films widely distributed in new emerging world territories. We need to export and showcase Indian films, heritage and culture to the world. We need to scale up the business and create content factories for the world.

What are your views on the OTT platforms for the film industry?

OTT is just another revenue stream for a producer to exploit IP of a film. It is similar to selling music rights to music publisher, selling DVD rights to a home entertainment company or selling film rights to an airline. OTT is just one of the platforms like a cinema theatre for exhibiting a film. India produces over 1,800 films a year. OTT platforms could afford to get just a couple of hundred films. Over 200 Tamil films are produced every year. Major OTT platforms have room to buy only a dozen big films. Or a small budget film, when it is successful. We welcome OTT platforms. It is a good medium for consumers and a refreshing home entertainment. I subscribe to the school of thought of watching films in a big screen in pitch darkness among audiences. That’s real enjoyment.

You have been very vocal on fighting against piracy…

When a new film is out in the market it instantly gets copied and released in pirated websites. By this Copyright infringement, the film and its producer suffer the most. It has been going on and on. No one could stop this menace. But, there is a way out. When the Government has the power to remove adult/obscene content, it could also stop films being illegally copied, uploaded and streamed in pirated websites and apps.

We will soon be meeting up with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Minister of Information and Broadcasting Prakash Javdekar and Minister for Electronics and Information Technology Ravi Shankar Prasad and emphasize the need to protect films and strict action against pirates (wherever they are). A team comprising celebrities, influencers, film industry leaders representing regional cinemas across India will emphasize the need to stop illegal exploitation of copyrighted films. In the post pandemic times, this is the need of the hour. The film industry has suffered the most.

We have been constantly fighting this menace for more than two decades. Today, we are confident that our prayers will be answered by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology.

What is the biggest challenge for a film producer today? In post pandemic times, what is the need of the hour?

In majority of the films made in India, the producer of the film suffers the most. The producer invests and facilitates in the making of the film. He risks in investing big amounts for the production and promotion of the film. An intermediary like an online ticket booking company gets a confirmed per ticket share than a producer. We want to fight this out. In current times, there are several challenges to movie exhibitors. OTT platforms like Amazon Prime and Netflix have been innovating pricing models. We need to bring that flexible ticket pricing for exhibitors. The government should allow cinemas to deploy flexible ticket pricing. Various state governments in India should allow theatres to charge higher ticket prices for blockbusters, holidays and opening weekends. At the same time, there should be flexibility in offering discounts and flexibility in pricing for small independent films. We need to innovate to get people to get into cinemas. This would also result in net revenue tax collections for the government. This would bring cheers to the producer, distributor and exhibitor.

Indian film industry faces the biggest obstacle from Animal Welfare Board of India. We all know that a goat is slaughtered and its meat served for eating. This is same story for many land animals killed and eaten. But when we show a sparrow in a film, we are accused of harming the sparrow. We are asked to create animals on VFX and CG.

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Highlights



Heard About Enjoy Enjaami. Here it is

Dada Saheb Award Gets Rajinikanth

MIPTV Director Lucy Smith Gives Sneak Peak of Digital MIPTV

What Buyers Expect From Digital MIPTV

China Eyes Animation Content at MIPTV

Sikkim is India’s Most Film Friendly State

National Film Awards: Sushant Singh’s Chichchore, Dhanush, Manoj Bajpayee, Kangana Among Winners

UNESCO, USO India, Toonz tie up for World Water Day Animation Creation

Virtual Pre-Cannes Screenings For Buyers Before July Physical Market

Accreditations Are Open For Cannes 2021

Stage set for Cannes from July 6. Spike Lee, Cannes Jury Head

Matchmaking Biz Accelerator At Digital MIPTV 2021

MIPTV 2021 Trend: Increasing Demand for Distribution & Co-Production

MIPTV honours A+E Networks president Paul Buccieri

Thanu For Making Producers’ Mission Possible

Mehrunisa Aims more Destinations

Delhi Photographer Sohrab Hura’s Film The Coast in Berlinale’s Forum Expanded

Berlinale Talents 2021: Nine Talents from India

Tamil Film Pebbles by Vinothraj Wins Tiger Award at Rotterdam

Re-Imagined European Film Market 2021

EFM Global Market Screenings in Tokyo, Melbourne, Sao Paulo, Mexico

Berlinale Co-Prod Market: 35 Films from 25 Countries

Books at Berlinale 2021: 10 Books will be Pitched for Screen Adaptation

Highlights: Berlinale Series Market & Conference

Uday Shankar forms New Tech and Media Venture with James Murdoch

With Film Visa, Global Producers Can Now Shoot in India

CII Seeks Industry Status for M&E in Union Budget

51st IFFI Will Capture New Narratives in Cinema

15 Films Compete for Golden Peacock at #IFFI51

Top IFFI Picks: Another Round, Mehrunisa, Wife of A Spy

Hybrid IFFI From January 16

CII BIG PICTURE SUMMIT 2012: Growth Triggers From Ronnie

What Media Guru Amit Khanna Said in CII BIG PICTURE SUMMIT 2012

LATAM Market Ventana Sur from November 30

Blue Efficience Roped in For Ventana Sur

Films to watch @ Ventana Sur

India Rolls out Red Carpet to Foreign Filmmakers

Ramesh Sharma’s New Documentary Film on Gandhi at AFM

The Warrior Queen of Jhansi at AFM

www.cinemarket.io – Buy, Sell & Engage

Embracing Cinema Through Screens of all Sizes

Nomadland wins People’s Choice at Toronto

MIPCOM 2020 Goes Entirely Online

South Korea will be MIPCOM 2020 country of honor

India, the Window of Opportunity

Get Ready for Hybrid IFFI

Film Making Centres of India

Get Your Film Take Wings at Virtual Film Bazaar

Make at least Ten co-productions in a year

Filmmakers Should Make use of India-Canada Treaty

TIFF: The Show and Business Goes on

Navigating Toronto Film Festival and Industry

Make in India, Show the World

Be Part of the Pickle India Focused Toronto Edition

ads2OTT set to Launch in Oct 2020

MovieSaints to release Memories of a Forgotten War

Truth Is Dead

Submissions Open For Berlinale Co-Production Market

Gender Equality-Berlinale Eliminates Silver Bear for Best Actor and Best Actress

All3Media, A+E Networks, BBC Studios, ZDF Join MIPCOM 2020 Global UPFRONTS Lineup

NürnbergMesse’s Content India Show from October 29-31

Berlinale 2021 Will be a Physical Festival; EFM in Hybrid Format

Best of 2020: A Dazzling Dozen

Striking the Right Chord

Ishaan Khatter looking ‘beyond clouds’ with promising upcoming projects

IFFI 2020 Adopts Hybrid Online-Physical Edition

India Unbound

20 Films That Make us Believe Freedom is Priceless

Krishna Janmashtami Special

National Education Policy: Game Changer

18 Must-See Films at Venice 2020

Ayushmann Turns Athlete

Indian Trio in Venice

Blockchain: The Future is Now

Not right time to open cinema halls: Ravi Kottarakara

Meet, ERICA. AI Actor in a SCI-FI Film

Vidya Balan Set to Shine as Shakuntala Devi

Straight Answers From Alexander Shulgin

Content is king for Saregama’s Yoodlee

Nuggets From Animation Thought Leaders

NYIFF Takes Virtual Route

From The Heart Of Disney

New Model of Filmmaking in India

My Journey: How I Did It

Animation in the Age of Art & Tech

Making Filming in India More Easy

Gaurav Banerjee: Star Unveiled

FDI cap of 26% for News Aggregators Under Consideration

The Changemaker

COVID-19 has Accelerated Digital Shift Towards Across Sectors

No Business as Usual for Film Industry

What’s Wrong With our News Media Today ?

The Fire Inside Regina

Gaming Industry Braves Covid

Disney +Hotstar Leads the Disruption

Taapsee’s takes on OTT, Nepotism & Covid

Oscar Invites QUBE’s Senthil Kumar to be its Member at Large

What’s New Search Engine Neeva Can Do That Google Cannot?

The New Oscar Award Date April 25, 2021

India to Offer Incentive Package for Film Shoots and Co-Production

‘NFDC Film Bazaar Goes to Cannes’

Strings of Genius

A Ray That Still Lights The Way

Best of the Cannes Official Selection 2020 Films

Most Awaited Films of India

56 Films: Cannes Reveals 2020 Lineup

The Making of Cannes 2020 Film Selection Process

Cannes Virtual Film Market Extends Earlybird Registration to June 12

Annecy Jury Members

Take a Look at Annecy Competition Lineup

Getting Back to Business, Reveals Media Consumption Pattern

Cannes 2020 to Announce Festival Selection Lineup on June 3

20 Work in Progress Tiltles Unveiled for Goes to Cannes

Annecy VR Works Selections for Digital MIFA Market

Film Bazaar’s Work in Progress Films from India Goes to Cannes Virtual Market

Navigating Virtual Cannes Film Market 2020

Meet the Streamers: HBO Max & Quibi Keynotes at Cannes Virtual Film Market

Dedicated Cannes XR Virtual Edition from June 24-26

Screen Moms; Best Movies to Stream on Mother’s Day

Vijay Deverakonda: The Lovable ‘Rowdy’

Sai Pallavi: Natural Beauty is a Natural Actor Too

Cannes Virtual Film Market Registration Opens May 13

COVID-19: Nuggets from Netflix’s Ted Sarandos on Filming and Safety Protocols

Maitreyi Ramakrishnan is New Sensation in Netflix Original Series Never Have I Ever

The Best Movies of 2001-2019 Not Streaming in OTT Platforms

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now

Best Movies of the New Millennium Streaming Now

Annecy Unveils Virtual Film Festival and Market in June

Roskino to Host Russian Virtual Digital Content Market from June 8

27 Rishi Kapoor Films to Stream at Home Now

Virtual Nab Show Express will Take Place May 13-14, 2020

51 International Film Festival of India, Goa ( 20 -28 November, 2020)

Films to Watch in 2020

Christopher Nolan Films Tenet in Mumbai

A Call From Uttarakhand For Filmmakers Of The World

FFO Rolls Out Red Carpet For Foreign Filmmakers

INDIA@BERLINALE-Indian Cinema’s Voices Emerging

51st IFFI TO Mark Satyajit Ray’s Centenary Celebrations

Infusing Life With Dubbing AT VR Films & Studios

Sailing well in Animation Waters

Berlinale 2020: India’s Laila Aur Satt Geet Selected for ‘Encounters’ Section

Prateek Vats’ Eeb Allay Ooo! in Berlinale Panaroma

Berlinale Shorts: Ekta Mittal’s ‘Gumnaam Din’ to showcase of pain of separation

Berlinale Talents: Seven Indians Make It to the List

My Salinger Year is the Opening Film at 70th Berlinale

GET READY for EUROPEAN FILM MARKET 2020

BERLIN FILM FESTIVAL 2019 WINNERS

Berlinale Forum Celebrates Golden Jubilee in 2020

Berlinale 2020 Poster Unveiled

British Actor Jeremy Irons Will Be the Jury President of Berlinale 2020

Amit Khanna: The Renaissance Man

Fantastic Friend

THE MEDIA GURU-AMIT KHANNA

STRAIGHT ANSWERS FROM AMIT KHANNA

THE DEFINING DECADE -THE 1990s

10 Achievements of Amit Khanna

Reflections on Amit Khanna

Valuable Moments

India Enchants John Bailey

The Big Bachchan of Bollywood

ETERNAL SUPERSTAR: RAJINIKANTH

IFFI 50 & Fantastic-Lifetime Achievement Award to Isabelle Huppert

INDIA’S FLAGSHIP FILM FESTIVAL TURNS 50

BACK IN BUSINESS WITH A BANG

GET THE BEST OUT OF FILM BAZAAR 2019

Transforming Hollywood from pixels to voxels

Government of India committed to Safeguard IP content: Commerce Secretary

Must do Things at AFM

Why India Attracts Foreign Filmmakers

Pickle at MIPCOM 2019

INDIAN COMPANIES AT MIPCOM

Super Audio: Licensed to Thrill

Jungle Book Season 3 Ready

Issuance of VPL in India

Editor’s Note: 44th Toronto International Film Festival Pickle Sept 2019 Edition

The OSCAR RACE begins HERE…

Seven Indian Indie Filmmakers To Watch

Indian Cinema Of Today: A Culturally Responsive Artifact

Indie Resurgence

Indian Films At Toronto a Sparkling Quartet

IFFI Matters @ 50

Four Indian Films at the Toronto International Film Festival 2019

India Pavilion at Toronto International Film Market 2019

Made in Afghan Film ‘Hava, Maryam, Ayesha’ To Compete at Venice Festival

Keerthy Suresh: The Mahanati of Mahanati. Best Actress, National Film Award

Uttarakhand Bags National Award for Most Film Friendly State

66th National Film Awards Winners for 2018

Watan Adds Colour to Indian Independence Day

dream hampton and Brie Miranda Bryant to Feature in MIPCOM’S Women in Global Entertainment Lunch 2019

Making a Song and Dance of it

NFDC Invites Applications for Production of Films in Indian Languages; Deadline September 8, 2019

IFFI Calls for Entry for Indian Panorama in 50th Edition

Ease of Filming in India

Come, Film In Inida

Why TikTok wants to invest $1 billion in India?

Priyanka Chopra’s The Sky is Pink Set to Premiere in 2019 Toronto Internaitonal Film Festival’s Gala Section

Gitanjali Rao’s Animation Feature Bombay Rose to open Critics’ Week at Venice International Film Festival

76th Venice International Film Festival to Open With Hirokazu Kore-eda’s ‘The Truth’

Indian Cinema’s Soft Power Misses the Mark in Nirmala Sitharaman’s Maiden Budget Speech

Shahid’s Kabir Singh Becomes Top-Grossing Film of 2019

Finance Minister Proposes FDI Norm Relaxation in Media

Media & Entrtainment as Champion Sector Figures in the Economic Survey 2018-19

Indian Cinema’s Steady Rise on Global Stage

Glimpses of the future

IFFI Marching Towards 50th Edition

Cannes or Netflix? Is Netflix an acceptable remediation for Cannes’ decades-long little regard for Indian Cinema?

Play Small & Live Long Did Wonders for Me

With AI, Machines Write Now

EFM Landmark: Great Opportunity for Filming in India

Sasindran Seeks Collaboration On Bosnia-Based Film

Is Man no More at Home on Earth? Is Cinema no More at Home in Theatres?

Eros International Media Ltd

The Power of Indian Content