CHENNAI: Distributors of Lingaa and theatre owners from across the state who screened the Rajinikanth-starrer observed a fast here on Saturday to press for reimbursement of the losses incurred by them in releasing the film.
Reiterating their demand for an audience with the super star to share their concern over the losses, they slammed the film’s producer Rockline Venkatesh for allegedly attributing the blame and the subsequent responsibility of bearing the losses upon the theatre owners and distributors.
“Rajinikanth should at least agree to come forward to meet us and hear our pleas. He did it when his earlier films Baba and Kuselan did not do expected business at the box office,” a combined statement from the distributors read.
“We had met Sathyanarayana (Rajini’s brother) and had requested him to take it to the notice of the actor. Unfortunately, weeks after this meeting, we have yet to receive any communication from him,” said Singaravelan, a distributor from Trichy.
N Nayagam of Madurai, meanwhile, said it was only fair that they demanded reimbursement from Rajinikanth, as he was behind the decision to cast both [Rockline] Venkatesh and KS Ravikumar as producer-director for this flick.
The distributors also criticised actor-politician R Sarath Kumar, president of the South India Film Artistes Association, for trying to absolve Rajinikanth from the lingering controversy. Sarath Kumar had stated that it was wrongful on the distributors’ part to hound the actor and seek his intervention in settling the issue.
“It is the producer who is responsible for the film and it is he who the distributors should approach,” he had said in a statement.
Distributors refuted the stance and said it was Rajini’s decision to bring Venkatesh on board the film. “Rockline Venkatesh does not even have a Chennai branch office for us to raise our demands with him. He runs his operations from Karnataka. Besides, anyone with a fair idea of the industry’s functioning would understand that Rajini is the right person from whom we ought to be seeking compensation,” added a distributor, who did not wish to be named.