Vazhakku director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan releases the film online after feud with Tovino Thomas

Malayalam film director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan and actor-producer Tovino Thomas are feuding over the release of their film Vazhakku. After accusing Tovino of meddling with the film’s release over concerns that it would affect his career, Sanal released the movie on Vimeo for free when the actor denied his claims. (Also Read: Tovino Thomas is worried Vazhakku will affect his career, director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan reveals)

Tovino Thomas in a still from Vazhakku.
Tovino Thomas in a still from Vazhakku.

Sanal’s accusations

For the unversed, it all began when Sanal shared a long note written in Malayalam on his Facebook. In it, he alleged that Tovino was meddling with the film’s release theatrically and on OTT because he didn’t want it to affect his career. He claimed that despite being shot in 2020, with post-production done by 2021, the film still hasn’t been released due to the actor.

Unlock exclusive access to the latest news on India’s general elections, only on the HT App. Download Now! Download Now!

A portion of the note reads, “Tovino was a rising superstar during the production of Vazhakku. If it had come out that day, the enmity against me would have turned against him. The path to growth to superstar might have been a short one.” Vazhakku enjoyed a successful run at the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK).

Tovino explains his side

On Sunday, Tovino made an Instagram live with Sanal’s cousin and co-producer of Vazhakku, Girish Chandran. In the video, he claimed that he decided to produce the film out of respect for the director’s craft. Tovino also stated that he invested 27 lakh in the film’s production without any returns.

What’s more, Tovino also claimed that it was Sanal, not him, who interfered with the film’s release. He said he also proposed participating in the Mumbai Film Festival (MAMI) but the director rejected the idea, fearing that it would be leaked online. He also stated that Sanal wasn’t ready to hand over creative rights, which is a standard while selling to OTT. Tovino also stated that due to the stalking case filed against Sanal for allegedly stalking Manju Warrier in 2022 which led to his arrest, not a lot of OTT platforms were willing to get involved.

Sanal’s counter

Sanal didn’t just counter Tovino’s claims with another long post on Facebook, he also shocked everyone by uploading Vazhakku to Vimeo and sharing the link for free. Sharing it, he wrote, “Cinema should be viewed by the audience. For anyone who wants to watch it, here is Vazhakku/The Quarrel. You will understand now why the movie hasn’t been released.”

The director also claimed that it was not Girish but his friend who invested money in the film. He also claimed that the film was screened in 2023 at MAMI. Sanal also countered that he was arrested in 2022, while the film was completed in 2021, questioning the delay. “Tovino is very concerned about my mental state in live. Thank you. If he is fond of cinema, what Tovino really needs to do is to try to release the film. If no OTT platforms are ready, release it on YouTube,” he wrote, before apparently doing just that.

Source link