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PURELY HYPOTHETICAL!
The Tamil film industry received a huge honor this New Year. The Government of India has decided to appoint the industry as the official ambassador for wildlife conservation. This sudden decision comes in the wake of Tamil cinema strictly observing a self-imposed rule of having at least one release per month which has an ‘animal’ title in order to raise awareness among the public, about the importance of wildlife conservation. The government has also decided to give income tax exemption to all the actors, directors, producers and technicians who are involved in such films. This has come into effect with retrospective from January 2010 which means that many of the major stars from the industry will not have to shell out crores from their pockets in the form of tax. This is an additional benefit to the Tamil industry
  Vengai
which also is exempted from entertainment tax for carrying out the enormously difficult task of naming their films in Tamil despite shooting half the portions in New York, Timbuktu or any corner of the earth except Tamil Nadu.

According to statistics released, the major beneficiaries from this announcement for 2010 will include top stars of the industry like Suriya for Singam and Vijay for Sura. With both these films coming from the same production house, there is strong speculation that inside information from the government sources with which the house has strong links might have prompted them to name their films in a favorable manner. But a spokesperson of the production house vehemently denied this, stating that is this was the case then their major release of the year Endhiran could have been named ‘Arima Arima’ in order to avail tax benefits. On the contrary, there are sources suggesting that the DVD release of the film might carry this byline, thus making it eligible for the exemption.

But there are complaints within the industry that this information was not made available on larger basis and so most of the 2010 releases could not take advantage. However, 2011 will see the industry taking full advantage of this exemption and also spreading a lot of awareness. There are at least three major films at the moment that have appropriate titles to avail this benefit without any roadblocks; Siruthai and Vengai are two of these. Taking into account Sura, Siruthai and Vengai, actress Tamannah who features in all three has been given special ambassador status. Henceforth, she will be seen in guest appearances in all films that carry ‘animal’ titles.

With news of such an exemption becoming common knowledge there are reports of a scramble among production houses in order to register all possible animal titles. The Tamil film industry has set up a special committee consisting of a member each from the Nadigar Sangam, Film Chamber, Producers Association, Directors Association and FEFSI to look into all disputes arising out of this matter. A special panel of biologists has also been hired by the Producers Association in order to suggest suitable zoological names for a film after listening to a script; even if it does not exist.

Reports are that a small budget film named ‘Naaikutty’ released in 2010 has filed a petition in court after their application for tax exemption was rejected on grounds that dogs were not wild animals. The counsel for the film’s producer argued that even sharks were not wild animals and still Sura was given the exemption without any hassles. The counter argument was that sharks were endangered species according to the latest Greenpeace reports and thus deserved equal importance as any other animal. If the ‘Naikutty’ petition indeed succeeds then films under production like ‘Nadunisai Naaigal’ and ‘Azhgarsaamiyin Kudirai’ could face a easy path to tax exemption. It would also ease the shortage of titles, allowing producers to go for titles like ‘Poonakutty’, ‘Pannikkutty’ etc. But, if the case does not succeed there are reports that the producer might change the title of his films to ‘Nadunisai Onaai’ and ‘Azhagarsaamiyin Kattukudirai’ respectively thus making things easy.

Some producers have shown great imagination in going for hybrid titles like Singam Puli. This film is now under consideration to be placed under a special category which will enable it to get directing funding from ‘Project Tiger’. Further developments are awaited.

Disclaimer: The article above is purely based on the imagination of the writer and is not meant to hurt the sentiments of any section of people, society or the film fraternity.
Tags : Singam, Nadunissi Naaygal, Vengai, Siruthai
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