After being silent for over a couple of weeks, filmmaker Gautham Menon has finally broken his silence over the ongoing controversy with producer Elred Kumar. In a press release, the director has opened up on the issue. Here, we are bringing selected quotes from his strongly-worded statement. Find it below:
"Let me first tell you that the injunction petition filed by RS has been dismissed by the courts. The Injunction petition filed by RS has been dismissed by the courts upholding my stand in the issues raised by RS and also proving that what was being done by RS or asked by RS was not right on any grounds. My ability to work and earn for myself is my birthright and as the law says it's my constitutional right-and no one should be able to take that away from me."
"This isn't even about me running around battling these cases and media reports instead of being able to write and make movies-which is my means of putting food on the table for my family. This is about me. My character, my intent and my credibility which has been put on the stand. And though ideally there should be unions or committees in place in an industry as big as ours to support and help me fight these un-wanted battles, I find myself alone and reduced in the spotlight."
"If I truly did believe there was any merit to these accusations, I would never put myself out here appealing to the good sense of the community. I would have slunk quietly into a hole, called for a negotiation and sorted the matter out in the comfort of 4 walls protecting my privacy. But I have no such reason to worry. I know I am right and I can't go down without a fight. A fight-not about money or about doing films. But about clearing my name. Which I've begun to realize is the true target in all of this Mr Elred has supposedly told my previous partner Mr Madan Pandy that he would let him off in the case if Mr Madan Pandy turned against me." Continued on the slideshow...
"As for the claim Elred has made- that we signed a letter in 2008 saying I would do a film for him, it is evident to anyone who works in this industry or who follows films that since 2008, I have done not one but four films with RS Infotainment."
"Over and above this, we have already invested approximately 1.5 crores on Mr Elred's behalf into the Hindi remake of VTV (we have paperwork to prove the same). In NEP as well, we took a cut in the budget of the film for an amount of approximately 2.5+ crores. Also, it must be known that over these 4 films I have not taken my complete director's remuneration-which I would have rightfully earned-at market value-had I done a project for another producer."
"This is the part which I find most difficult to talk about. One of the biggest reasons Mr Elred holds as my 'mistake' in NEP, was this choice I made of a certain senior technician. The same technician who added value in terms of sale rights much higher than RS could have expected. The same technician because of whom there was a tremendous buzz to the movie. And more importantly, at the felicitation of this senior technician-where 100 foreign musicians were flown down for the function (which I spent for along with Jaya TV), Mr Elred came up on stage and spoke as well. But he has said to me directly, and to others that it was this very choice that he holds against me and wants me to pay for. Would anyone consider that a 'mistake'? And one that I must pay for so dearly?"
"I realize that producers need directors and directors need producers. And I am in no position to judge who is more important than the other-having played both roles myself. But this is not a conflict between a producer and a director. Otherwise-it would have been sorted at a council meeting or with the intervention of other senior and established members of our industry. It's an unsaid rule in the industry that people don't arbitrarily file cases against each other and harass fellow members of the film fraternity but RS infotainment has decided to break that rule."
"Today, as I write this, Mr Elred has filed yet another suit against me, claiming approximately 9.5 crores and to attach my house. Asking me the aforesaid money is unacceptable, asking me to do another film is unreasonable, asking for attachment of my house is heartless and the work of a vengeful mind. Mr Elred Kumar has many business interests and films are not his livelihood unlike us - fellow members of the film fraternity. For us films are not only our sole livelihood but also our passion and life."