As the 65th edition of the Filmfare Awards (South) started at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre on Saturday evening, the who’s who of the south Indian film industry walked on the red carpet, with one exception. Most stars from the Tamil industry did not turn up, not even Nayanthara and Vijay Sethupathi who were to receive awards for best performance. Amala Paul, Catherine Tresa, Prasanna, Sneha, Aditi Balan, Madhavan and Nithya Menen were the few exceptions.
The decision to stay away from the awards was taken by the Nadigar Sangam, the actors’ association headed by Vishal.
The reason to not attend the award show that is considered to be one of the most prestigious events in the industry was taken when Filmfare refused to pay the donation demanded by Nadigar Sangam.
Kollywood stars had however turned up for Behindwoods Gold Medals, Vijay TV Awards and Galatta Dot Com Awards, as these three entities had paid a trust run by Nadigar Sangam between Rs 10 lakh and Rs 40 lakh.
According to the Nadigar Sangam, “In the past, there have been several film related functions, award ceremonies, dance programmes and television programmes in which actors have participated and many have performed in such functions. However, in recent times, such functions have taken a commercial twist, and are conducted as a means to generate huge revenues for such organising entities. Considering the above, it had been officially resolved in Nadigar Sangam special meeting that actors should participate only in functions in which they are paid, or only in functions where the organising entities contribute donations to Nadigar Sangam and Tamil Film Producer Council.”
The Nadigar Sangam further says that the money donated by the three private award ceremonies was used to provide health and educational aid to deserving members.
“This practice and decision has been communicated clearly to Filmfare Awards organisers in view of the function to be held in Hyderabad on June 16, 2018. Since the organisers of the event did not cooperate and come forth with any positive response, the same was communicated to our members,” the association said.
Two sources confirmed to TNM that the ‘donation’ that the Nadigar Sangam had asked for ran into several lakhs, and Filmfare Awards that had started much before the concept of sponsorship and TV rights came into place, refused to pay.
Nadigar Sangam also thanked Nayanthara, Khushbu Sundar, Vijay Sethupathi and Karthi who did not attend the function.
Filmfare pays artistes who perform on stage, but sources in Nadigar Sangam say that the demand for money from private award shows was made as many from the industry who are neither performing nor receiving awards, take part in such shows.
It remains to be seen if Filmfare, the entertainment giant, will make its stand on the Nadigar Sangam’s decision public.