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Godha's executive producer's statement to save the Malayalam film industry from piracy

The executive producer of the Malayalam film 'Godha' starring Tovino Thomas, Renji Panicker, and Wamiqa Gabbi; CV Sarathi took to Facebook to explain the hard work put in making a film and the effect of piracy on Malayalam industry.

In a detailed letter to the audience, he wrote that director Basil Joseph had decided that his next film should be women centric during the post production of Kunjiramayanam and the first seeds of  Godha were sowed on the August 1st week of  2015. The script was finalized by October 1st week 2015 and by the first week of November, one month after Ennu Ninte Moideen's release, TovinoThomas was roped in as Anjaneya Das, and he went into training under Minnal George ashan in Cochin. He was the first artist confirmed for the film and Godha was his first film with Sarathi's banner E4entertainment. Tovino took a room in Fort Cochin and lived there for two months to train under Sri Minnal George.

With the casting of Tovino Thomas, the project became on, and the whole crew started assembling one by one. Ashan was found from an article written in Mathrubhumi Newspaper about his wrestling school in Cochin where he taught kids for peanuts.

Tovino's dedication and passion for the project were immeasurable. Even after knowing that Aditi Singh (Wamiqa's character) will walk away with the accolade, Tovino agreed to be a part of the film. In fact like Aditi wouldn't have reached Kerala without Das. Without Tovino Thomas, his dedication, passion, and commitment GODHA would never have happened.

The search continued till March to get a heroine who is also willing to put the time and effort to learn wrestling and also has acting skills. Wamiqa Gabbi was finalized by March end and promptly went for Wrestling training at Amritsar from May 2016. Before the middle of May, Renji Panicker was finalized as Captain. Wamiqa left her busy world in Mumbai, her family in Chandigarh and stayed in Amritsar for three months. Arushi who enacted the character of Pinto also joined Wamiqa in that flat so that the wrestling scenes between them can be rehearsed, choreographed and synchronized again and again.

In July, the first schedule was planned, and the original release date was November 2016, but unfortunately, Wamiqa got conjunctivitis due to spending tiresome days in the sand during the climax fight shoot between Aditi and Pinto. So a schedule break was forced on the makers and shooting resumed only by September end. By then it was clear that a film of this scale needs minimum 60 to 90 days for post-production, so the release was postponed to February 2017. The film's principal photography was finished by December 2016 and then again because of the film strike, Malayalam films got piled up for release including Sarathi's own Ezra, Godha's release was again to postponed to May 2017.

Many scenes including Tovino's renowned three and a half minute fight scene which is not there in the movie now, a total of thirteen single shot sequences were canned. From October 2015 Shaan Rehman started working on the music of Godha. His work is exceptional as many did not notice there are more than 13 songs in the film and audience doesn't even feel it as the songs just blend in with the film.

The producer finally added that he had written all this to inform all that originally Godha was supposed to release before DANGAL and makers were living and breathing this film from October 2015 till it's release. Many eminent technicians spent sleepless nights to make the final product, and as a result, it can be proudly said that Godha clearly states and talks about women empowerment and chasing your dreams without being preachy. Like Om Shanthi Oshana this is a film which has a clear well etched female character who knows what she wants in her life and is not afraid to chase it.

The producer went on to say that he does accept, wish and prey that all films made in Malayalam get to be successful. But degrading one film to promote another film is unacceptable. A film is the result of months and years of hard work, and it has come to his notice that some anti-social elements have uploaded pirated copies on some torrent sites. Several peoples seem to be not only watching it but also posting it on Facebook. Many of them seem to be proudly proclaiming they are another actor's fans. It is the biggest irony that a fan of an actor is helping in ruining the same cinema industry.

GODHA was released only in Kerala, in 110 theaters and the camera print was taken from one of these theaters by sitting among the audience. Every Malayalam film lover should look out for such activities. Maybe next time when you go for a movie, the person sitting three seats down fiddling with his phone may be shooting a camera print. He points out that Malayalam is one of the smallest industry in India even though number one in quality. With the advent of camera prints releasing on the second day of theatrical release, it has become impossible to survive. This is an industry where five crores theatrical share is considered as hits and on an average only two to three films a year crosses nine crores. These anti-social elements out there are out to destroy the industry which is already limping because of many ailments. There is no tax-free status for Malayalam films like in other states. With the implementation of GST come August 1st producers might even end up paying 54% tax per ticket. Pirated copies of all the recently released movies like SAKHAVU, LAKSHYAM, CIA and GODHA is out there on the net.

Kerala is a state which has given more than 25 crores theatrical share for BAHUBALI 2 despite it's pirated copies circulating from day two of its release. So the audience is not averse to coming into theaters. It is impossible to match their grandeur nor their huge budgets with Malayalam industry's limitations. Malayalam cinema used to match and beat them on content and quality, not on the budget. Once Malayalam cinemas used to be the most sought after for remakes in all the other Indian languages despite having low budgets. If Kerala audience can watch a BahuBali in theater why can't they watch a GODHA or CIA or LAKSHYAM?

He requested please to not make degrading trolls and watch all Malayalam movies in theaters only. He also summoned everyone to unite and save Malayalam industry and said that if action is not taken now, ten years down our grandkids might end up saying "There used to be a Malayalam cinema industry."