Everyone knows there’s a battle between Thuppakki and Kallathuppakki in court over the title. And such issues over titles seem to be creeping with alarming regularity in Tamil cinema despite the checks established by the various K-Town trade bodies.
Says Logiyaas, director, Kallathuppakki, “Our contention is that both the films’ titles are similar. Since theirs is a big film, they will go for heavy promotions. But, for the common man, our film will look like a dubbed film that is trying to ride on a big-budget film, even though we had registered this title in 2010. We are doing this only because this title will affect the business prospects of our film.”
“It’s true that the Tamil Film Producers’ Council (TFPC) has established checks and to check whether those rules are being followed, we tried to register the title Thuppakki 2012 under a new banner, but they rejected saying it was similar to Thuppakki. But, they never raised this objection when the Thuppakki team registered their title,” he claims.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, members in the Producers’ Guild and TFPC revealed to CT that the checks regarding titles were brought in after they learned of some individuals blocking titles and later using it to blackmail interested producers. But they admit that there are times when the same title or a similar-sounding one gets approved and they blame this on human error.
Recently, when a producer objected to the title Thaandavam claiming that he had registered it first, it was arbitrated and ruled in favour of the Vikram-starrer as the claimant was not in a position to produce a movie due to financial difficulties.
A member of the producers’ guild says, “Recently, we had a similar issue with the title Samar. Vishal’s film with director Thiru had initially been named Samaran and later the team had applied to get it changed to Samar. However, we pointed out that another team had registered the title and rejected it.”
However, Thiru informs us that they got in touch with the producer who had registered the title and they have mutually agreed that Vishal’s film will retain Samar as the title.
How is a title registered?
Producers, with a registered company, can register a title.
Registration happens by applying to TFPC, Film Chamber or Producers’ Guild with a fee of Rs 500.
The body cross-checks to see if the title exists. If yes, the application is rejected; else, it’s registered.
Checks are also done on similar-sounding titles and if issues arise, the members discuss the issue and take a decision.
The registered title has to then be renewed by the producer until the movie gets censored by paying a renewal fee.