I suffered a loss of Rs 50,000 distributing Mani Ratnam’s ‘Nayagan’: KT Kunjamon

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One of Tamil cinema’s well-known producers K.T. Kunjumon has disclosed that he actually suffered a loss of Rs 50,000 as a result of choosing to distribute director Mani Ratnam’s classic ‘Nayagan’, featuring Kamal Haasan.

Speaking at the audio launch function of the Tamil film, ‘Kadala Poda Oru Ponnu Venum’, Kunjumon said that he had distributed the films of almost all production houses in Tamil Nadu in Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

“Today, I might not have enough qualifications to call myself a producer but I know how films perform at the box office,” the once popular producer, who is now making a comeback with ‘Gentleman 2’ said.

During the course of his speech, he said , “Director Mani Ratnam is close to me. I have distributed his films in Kerala, the city and NSC (an acronym used to refer to the North Arcot, South Arcot and Chengalpattu districts in Tamil Nadu). He is a good director but not a commercial director.

“Let me tell you a story that nobody knows. The film was Nayagan. G V (Referring to G Venkateswaran who was director Mani Ratnam’s elder brother) sir was the one who had financed it. Before this, I too had bought several films like ‘Anjali’ for distribution in Kerala, the city and NSC. I told him that I will not do a Mani Ratnam film because I do not like it. They have class. However, distributors and theatres will not get money.

“He said that this was his film and that I will have to do it. Muktha Srinivasan sir was very close to me. He said, ‘Kunjumon, somehow, you do it.’ I told him that I was not interested in it. Give us Rs 30 lakhs in all, I was told.

“I finally got it for Rs 25 lakhs. If that money hadn’t been given, ‘Nayagan’ wouldn’t have released. I gave a single payment. I suffered a loss of Rs 50,000 in that deal. I released it in the city and the NSC region. It was a super duper flop but I liked the film. Kamal had acted well in it and Mani Ratnam had made it well but it was not commercial.”

Stating that he was totally a ‘commercial’ person, Kunjumon said people wanted to be entertained for two-and-a-half hours in the theatre.

“If the director and the techincians are mindful of the fact that the people shouldn’t suffer losses, then, the industry will do well,” the producer said.

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