Cheran’s new film – The end of C2H? 

Reports are emerging online that Director Cheran’s next venture could be with Actor Vijay SethupathiThese are still early days and the actor already has enough on his plate. More over it appears that the information prima-facie has been obtained from secondary sources and that there has been no official confirmation, to that effect. 

If it is announced in a few days hopefully, The movie is more important from Cheran’s perspective as he gets back to what he does best – make good movies. But it isn’t going to be easy by any means. He will need to bury some ghosts of the past. 

Cheran came to almost be single handedly associated with the C2H project, a few years ago that planned a parallel distribution network, but little came of it, because the traditional players opposed it ‘tooth and nail’ and even the potential revenue opportunities that C2H was hoping may not have been largely significant enough (DVD sales were already sinking when the C2H was announced and no one has yet cracked the ‘Online Internet market for Traditional Top-down films’) to convince them to jump ship, if things came down to an’ either-or’ situation. 

Seeing no way out, Cheran bit the bullet himself and released his first film’ JK Ennum Nanbanin Vazhkai ‘on DVD using the C2H branding. The film did not exactly prove to be a trendsetter for this new kind of market. A few months later, C2H released another film’YettiThikkum Madha Yaanai’. That was that. No more films came out from the C2H stable. The internet model plans all went up in smoke. Slowly news coverage of the organization reduced. 
The most recent news about the organization was hardly positive. A case was filed against Cheran owing to a cheque bounce case by a C2H distributor. 

With C2H’s official twitter account not having been updated for over two years now, one can take a safe bet and say it is all over. It’s website too has not been working for quite some time now. 

Even if cheran finishes this movie with Vijay Sethupathi successfully, he will have to go back to the traditional distribution mediums only. 

The C2H model may have failed. But let us give this brave man some credit. 

Personally, I never believed in the C2H model. It had lot of conflicting objectives, which needed deeper thought and analysis. Even if these issues were addressed, a model like C2H would not have worked in a country like India for ‘Top Down cinema’. The production costs of this kind of cinema is so huge that there is no way that C2H would have recouped the costs involved. The obvious logic in theory was that C2H would work in parallel to the traditional Distribution players. But unlike Kamalhaasan’s 1000 Rs scheme for Viswaroopam, which would have created a unique market for the new scheme , and not touched the ‘Pirate’ market because of the cost factor, C2H would not have that advantage. 

The DVDs of C2H films would have been priced between 5o.or 100 Rupees which puts it invariably in the danger zone for pirates to ‘exploit’ – Same content at lower price!!! 

More over the low cost involved meant that this model ( low to medium budget films which C2H was planning) would have only fragmented the users between the traditional players, C2H and ‘piracy’. 

C2H as an intermediary may have benefitted possibly if it attained margins of scale, but it is extremely unlikely that the net revenues to the producer would have increased with C2H model, because of the additional fragmentation. 

But all of this analysis is simply redundant, because the C2H project never even took off. Never the less, Cheran attempted to do something which no one had done before. He may have failed in his attempt, but along with his films, the legacy of C2H will proudly remain when one talks of ‘Bharathi Kannamma’, ‘DesiyaGeetham’or any of his other master pieces. 

P. S – Several attempts were made by this author to contact director Cheran to discuss some of my views on the C2H project. Sadly, there has been no response until date. 

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Another Crowd Funding campaign gone bust!!! 

Rohini’s attempts to generate funds for her project ‘Appavin Meesai’ for its post production activities through ‘crowd funding’ seems to have gone up in smoke. After an initial few promising days, the project petered out. Only about 10 percent of the funds were collected and considering that this project was a ‘nothing or all’ project, the money gets refunded to the contributors. So Rohini will have to start from scratch now. 

The movie which originally started out under the auspices of Director Cheran during his better days was one of the films to have been released under the much hyped ‘Cinema2Home’ distribution model. 
Now totally revived with no reference to the original creators, Rohini hoped a better way out for her baby. But sadly, that was not to be. 

While the larger fish flood their prints en-masse across thousands of screens to recover the ‘inflated’ costs paid to their stars and then stand to crib about piracy and its losses, smaller producers and good film makers are not even able to raise funds to finish their films or even if they do finish them, they don’t even find enough theatres to release them. Remember ‘Kuttram Kadithal’ that fine film!! 
I am tempted to speculate that’ Kaaka Muttai’, which did have a successful commercial run,  too would have been in the cans without a release, because hey!, it is an award film. Thankfully, the film had VetriMaran’s And Dhanush’s backing, and eventually it proved to be a very good film, in its own right. Kudos to Director Manikandan!!!

When ‘Digital Crowd Funding’ , the last of several attempts,  failed Jayabharathi, ‘Puthran’ has almost effectively become a still born baby. It is a sad irony of fate that the man who conceived the concept of ‘crowd funding’ for his maiden film ‘Kudisai’ long before the terminology was even born, failed miserably today. I hope and truly wish that ‘Appavin meesai’ too does not meet the same fate. 

Rohini’s Appavin Meesai – Crowd Funding Hopes and the Lost ‘C2H’ connection

Rohini is a fine actor. Her role in Marupadiyum as the insecure actress and mistress of Nizhalgal Ravi, still flashes across my eyes. She has acted in several films under the auspices of several legends of Tamil cinema.

For the past several years, her maiden attempt at making a film ‘Appavin Meesai’ has faced several problems, most of which may have been tied up with the other financial troubles of the original producer -Director Cheran. Cheran was the man who bravely attempted to re-define ‘legitimate movie distribution’ in India through the ‘Cinema2Home’ venture, an attempt that has now almost invariably, bitten the dust.

I never fully agreed with Cheran’s views from the beginning and waited to publish an article here on C2H, hoping that i would get an attempt to get in touch with him for an interview so that i could discuss some of my views with him. Inspite of several attempts to get in touch with the director, I did not get a response.

None the less, Director Cheran’s brave attempts need to be appreciated, even after the C2H brand slowly disappears from public memory.

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‘Appavin Meesai’ was touted to be one of the first films to be released from the C2H stable, along with other names like ‘Arjunanin kadhali’ and ‘Koditta Idangalai Nirapuga’ . As we can see from the original poster of the film, ‘Appavin Meesai’ was originally produced by Nivedha Priyadarshini, daughter of Cheran, and was the pioneering woman who handled the administrations and operations aspects of C2H network and assisted her father ably. 

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The film ‘Appavin Meesai’ never saw a release eventually, C2H or otherwise. After JK Ennum Nanbanin Vazhkai, C2H managed to release only one more film on DVD. Its online operations never took off – ‘Ettithukkum Madha Yaanai’

 

Today, with possibly resources drying up, Appavin Meesai gets a new lease of life. Rohini has attempted the crowd funding model to raise 40 Lakh Rupees to finish the post production works of the film. It also appears that the movie has changed hands. There seems to be no association of this film, in any manner with the C2H distribution network or Cheran as the producer anymore.

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This is not the first time that Tamil Film makers have chosen Crowd Funding to get through the last leg of their projects. Director ‘Kudisai Jayabharathi’ also made a similar attempt last year, but failed. 

Let us hope that Director Rohini is more lucky and does manage to release her film. Good Luck.