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Director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan Releases Controversial Film ‘Vazhakku’ Online Amid Feud with Actor Tovino Thomas

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Director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan of the renowned film ‘Sexy Durga’ fame has officially released his film ‘Vazhakku’ online following a heated dispute with actor Tovino Thomas over its distribution.

The conflict arose when Sanal accused Tovino of hindering the theatrical and OTT release of ‘Vazhakku’, citing concerns about the impact on the actor’s career. Sanal shared a detailed post on Facebook, expressing frustration over the delayed release of the film, which had garnered critical acclaim at the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK).

In response, Tovino Thomas went live on social media to refute Sanal’s allegations, revealing his substantial financial contribution of Rs 27 lakh to ‘Vazhakku’s production in 2020. Tovino disclosed that his intention was to showcase the film at prominent film festivals, including the Mumbai Film Festival (MAMI), but was met with resistance.

Sanal countered Tovino’s claims, asserting that it was not the actor but himself who impeded the film’s release process. The director expressed frustration over the lack of interest from OTT platforms in acquiring the film due to past controversies, including the stalking allegations that led to his arrest in 2022.

Despite the ongoing dispute, Tovino proposed participating in the Mumbai Film Festival, which Sanal rejected, fearing potential leaks. Additionally, disagreements over creative rights and distribution further strained their collaboration.

Following the public exchange, Sanal shocked audiences by uploading ‘Vazhakku’ on Vimeo for free viewing, asserting that the film deserved to be seen by audiences. The director’s decisive action marked a dramatic turn in the conflict, prompting social media discussions and debates surrounding artistic integrity and distribution practices.

Rachel Adams

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