Vasantham's National Day Telemovie's Message Marred by Artiste's FB outburst

As with all National Day Telemovies, it was not surprising to watch one with positive vibes and learning lessons. Directed by N. Mohamed Yahssir from Millenia Motion Pictures, the telemovie titled Kanvugal  (dreams), was all about the core values this Country believes in. Meritocracy and rewarding hard work among the many.

This movie was also special in the sense, it marked the return of the undisputed Queen of Vasantham, Udaya Soundari to screen. As much as we would love to unearth the truth behind her absence from screen and the decision to  bring her back, we would just take solace in the fact that she is back. On a side note, its really amazing how fast the industry can move ahead once you get left behind. Once a leading lady in any drama she plays, Udaya was casted as a mother of a Primary School student. In anycase, it felt heartwarming to know that she is back.

When you screen a movie that promotes meritocracy and delivers a message that one will be rewarded for hard work in Singapore, the last thing you would expect is to face allegations of the exact opposite. Perhaps, it was the conincidence in the timing, that made this all the more ironic.

We were alerted to a emotional outburst by a Vasantham artiste, known as Suresh Vanaz on Facebook. The post is as follows:

His post was in response to the Pradhana Vizha 2016 nominations. The Pradhana Vizha is Mediacorp Vasantham's biennial Awards show to honour the best of the best in the industry. This year's event will see awards given out in 27 categories, including the Lifetime Achievement Award. For the first time, Pradhana Vizha will be held at the brand new state-of-the-art 1,500-seat theatre at the new Mediacorp campus.

To sum up his post, 
  1. He is angry that he was not nominated for an award.
  2. He believes that his hard work has gone unnoticed and he is not the only one.
  3. He also asserts that the same set of people are receiving the same awards.
While this may be ignored as a personal embellishment borne out of sour grapes, there were 2 comments to the above post that did lend some weight to his opinion. One claimed to be unrecognised by the Indian media in Singapore despite flying the Singapore flag high.

The other was one who claims that his hard work for close to 30 years have been ignored.

Even if we ignore his post as an exception borne out of frustration, his concerns were understated in a another status update a day later.

This time, he throws a question out aloud on alleged favouritism in industry and goes straight to the issue closest to him, the fact that he was not nominated. 
Who is Suresh Vanaz?

He was probably referring to his antagonist role in Vetri Season 2. His role was indeed extremely convincing to a point the word on the street was that he was not really acting and he was really a badass in real life. It did not help, there was also video released on the now defunct social media troll page  "Spot Tamilan", which showed him scolding an older lady with vulgarities and refusing to let her into the house, which was apparently hers to begin with. The background story to the video has never been verified, though the video was clear in showing Suresh Vanaz scolding and insulting an older Indian lady with vulgarities.

On the flipside, you also have him making headlines in 2014 during the aftermath of the Little India Riots where he went out of his way to raise $8000 for the victim of the accident. He had even made the journey to India to visit the victims family and had even promised to take care of the victim's mother as his own.

Will Vasantham Respond?

This may have been a one man's opinion on the awards ceremony and the industry. But we cannot ignore the fact that he is part of the industry. The issue on favouritism potentially challenges the integrity of the awards ceremony.

Being the only awards ceremony, its of paramount importance that the integrity and credibility of the awards ceremony remains untainted by any allegation. Perhaps, the channel would be willing to shed some light into the decision making process.

Award Details

This years Pradhana Vizha will be held on 17 September 2016 at the Theatre at Mediacorp. Tickets are available at SISTIC. They are priced affordably at $15 per ticket.


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