The Tamil Nadu Producers Council feels like some critics, whether they are qualified or not to give critique in the first place, have gone too far in recent years with their vitriolic reviews and they are finally putting their foot down on the matter.

Led by N Sekar, District Registrar (Admin), the council had released an official notice late on Monday, announcing three new changes in its existing film promotion strategies.

The most controversial change would be the council's threat to take legal action on film critics who post unjustified vicious attack on any released films and its stars. Sekar announced that they will henceforth 'ban media persons, who post abusive film reviews that contain personal attacks on film celebrities from attending all film-related events'.

They are also looking to trim down any excessive expenses placed on the producers by removing the practice of giving gifts or rewards to the media at press screenings, audio launches, and other promotional events.

As you can imagine, the media was naturally outraged by this announcement. The protest was so vociferous that an emergency meeting was held two days later, and one of the prominent council members, Amma Creations T Siva tried to pacify the matter by saying, "We met the PROs and a select section of the press to discuss the new rules for film promotions. The problem is, hundreds of people, who are in no way connected to press or cinema, enter our events and screenings in the guise of reporters. Our first target is to stop them. Whenever we wish to honour and thank the press for being a great pillar of support, these impostors end up stealing their space. This is why we have decided to stop extras like gifts and food distribution; the hope is this will prevent them from attending our events."

He also feels that some unqualified people, posing as film reviewers, are hindering the commercial success of films. "A critic has all the rights to point out the pros and cons of a film, but they have no business asking the audience to see or not see a film. Some YouTubers even verbally abuse the cast and the crew under the guise of criticism. We want video reviews to be as dignified as the print ones. I believe that the decision to file cases on abusive reviewers will truly make a difference in the industry.

Will these changes actually work in the real world?

A popular PRO, on condition of anonymity, said that only a few members of the council agree with the changes, "All the producers have to agree to these conditions, in order for these to be formally implemented. I don't see this happening as there is a lot of difference of opinion."

The PRO also feels that this decision will adversely affect small-budget films. "The new rules will have little bearing on star vehicles, as those films will get attention without extra promotion. In the case of smaller films though, we have to follow careful strategies to draw the attention of the media. Restricting us from using these will dramatically affect their result. Also, the money spent on such promotional events is quite insignificant when you compare it to the loss incurred due to piracy. I really wish they concentrated on bigger problems first," he added.

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Source: Cinema Express
Photo Credit: Cinema Express