The Tamil Film Producers Council had issued a request to film critics and social media influencers on Sunday, asking them not to post their reviews on social media for at least three days after the release of a film.
A few days ago on Sunday, September 18, the Tamil Film Producers Council (TFPC) issued a rather bizarre request to film critics and social media influencers, asking them not to post their reviews on social media. for at least three days after the release of a Tamil film. According to the council, the decision was made after finding that negative reviews online were hurting film collections. Understandably, the guideline has not been well received by reviewers, many of whom believe it to be an attack on free speech.
“I don’t see why anyone should be restricted from sharing their opinions/reviews after watching a movie the day it was released. How is such a “review ban” going to be enforced anyway? It looks like an attack on a person’s freedom of expression,” says Sudhir Srinivasan, film critic and entertainment editor at New Indian Express. That said, he also believes that reviews should respect basic decorum and should not be created with the intention of killing the cinematic experience, Sudhir points out to TNM. “When I write reviews, for example, I’m careful to speak from my own experience and analysis of a film, knowing that someone else might feel differently. The need of the hour is that all parties are considerate and empathetic towards each other,” he adds.
Kavitha Muralidharan, film critic and freelance journalist, points out that in the age of social media, it would be really difficult to ask a Twitter user not to post their opinion on a film they have just seen. “They can ask people not to spoil a movie, but it’s unreasonable to tell people not to post their reviews on social media,” she says.
Meanwhile, the TFPC has not yet clarified whether this “request” applies to all print and electronic media reviewers, or just social media influencers. When TNM spoke to board members, there seemed to be differing opinions on this.
According to C Kalyan, a famous Tollywood producer and TFPC member, all film critics and reviewers will be asked to refrain from posting their reviews on social media immediately after a film is released. “It will be officially announced at an official press conference in the coming days,” said Kalyan, who is also chairman of the Telugu Film Producers Council. RK Suresh, Vice President of the TFPC, also confirmed that the directive applied to all examiners.
However, TFPC General Secretary R Radhakrishnan is of the opinion that the council was only talking about social media influencers, not print or electronic media. “Many people claiming to be critics come to theaters and share the film, shot by shot, frame by frame on social media on the day of the release itself. In the case of large releases, it is even more frequent. This harms the collection of the film. Therefore, we ask them to refrain from posting anything on social media for at least three days, so that producers do not suffer losses,” he said.
Radhakrishnan also pointed out that they are not preventing any social media influencers from coming to the theater to watch the film, but only urging them not to post about it. “Press filters would continue, and reviews from print and electronic media could be released on release day as usual,” he added.