In the latest row between young Malayalam actor Shane Nigam and the Kerala Film Producers Association (KFPA), the latter has written to the South Indian Film Chamber (SIFC), seeking a ban on Shane until he compensated the producers for the two projects that have been shelved. SIFC is the apex body for Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam film industries.
In the letter to SIFC, the producers association has demanded that Shane not be offered any projects in the four south Indian film industries until he compensated the producers of films Veyil and Qurbaani, for the losses they have incurred after the projects had to be abandoned. Shane had recently confirmed his Tamil debut with actor Vikram and was to leave to Russia for the first phase of the film's shoot in December.
The Kerala Film Producers Association decided to scrap two films, which cast Shane Nigam, earlier this month, allegedly due to several complaints about the actorâs conduct on sets. In their statements to the media, the producers association alleged that Shane had not been punctual to the sets and that he had been unprofessional. The association also stated that would discontinue all association with the actor in the future.
âWe are yet to finalise the final amount, which will include taxes and sundry expenses, along with the losses (in crores) that have been incurred. KFPA (and all its members) will be boycotting all of Shaneâs films until he pays this compensatory sum,â Rakesh B, KFPAâs Treasurer told TNM.
âOther producers, who are not members of the association, are free to rope in Shane for their projects or promote him,â he added.
The move comes after the young actorâs comments at the IFFK (International Film Festival of Kerala) venue in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday, which did not go down well with the producers. On being asked about âmental agonyâ of the producers, Shane jokingly stated that he did not know whether the producers are suffering from âmental agonyâ or âmental illnessâ.
The association is also mulling legal action against the actor in order to secure the amount they have demanded for the two films that had to be shelved.
âWe have an executive committee meeting scheduled on December 19. One of the points in our agenda is whether to file a case against Shane with regard to the compensation we have asked for our losses,â Rakesh confirmed.
After the actorâs comment at IFFK stage sparked outrage among producers, settlement talks between the producers association and AMMA (Association of Malayalam Movie Artists) and FEFKA (Film Employees Federation of Kerala), over Shaneâs ban, were also called off.
On Wednesday, the actor also took to Facebook to apologise for the comment he made at the IFFK venue.
âThe statement I made on the IFFK stage in Thiruvananthapuram has been misunderstood. It is true that I told the media that I am not sure whether they have mental agony or mental illness. However, I said that in a jocular manner, in my own style with a smile on my face. If anyone has been hurt or upset by my words, I apologise unconditionally,â Shaneâs post read.
Shane, his mother and the director of Ishq, Anuraj Manohar, had earlier met state Cultural Affairs Minister AK Balan in order to mediate discussions between the two parties to resolve the ban. AMMA general secretary Edavela Babu, too, had initiated talks with the producers over the actorâs ban.