Liju Krishna, the director of Nivin Pauly actor ‘Padavettu’, lashed out at filmmaker Geethu Mohandas and the Women in Cinema Collective.
In a press conference held prior to the release, Liju claimed that Geethu was mentally harassing him.
He claimed that the award-winning filmmaker was constantly spreading rumors about “Padavettu.”
In addition, he accused WCC of trying to remove his name from the film’s titles, despite his cooperation in the investigation into the sexual assault case filed against him. Liju claimed that Geethu had suggested some changes in the story of ‘Padavettu’. However, she became vindictive after the director refused to make the changes. Liju Krishna said the investigative team would need to find out if Geethu was behind the sexual assault case and that he would cooperate fully with the investigation.
“We had attended a birthday party together at a hotel in Kochi. There were also some of our colleagues. I had unexpectedly met her at the party. It was a rainy night; so we sat in the room. After a while she asked me if I liked being soaked in the rain. I said I enjoyed the rain. She then invited me to the balcony and said she had something to tell me. She talked to me for over half an hour.
“When she started talking, I understood that she was concerned that I would reveal everything she had told me to anyone. She was drunk and I listened carefully to her. She asked me not to tell anyone. But I smiled and openly said that I didn’t want to keep my mother. Suddenly her tone changed and she started threatening me. She warned that she would destroy me. I was convinced that the film I directed would be a success. I listened to everything with a smile on my face a lot of people had seen us talking but they might not have heard anything because they were in the room.
“Meanwhile, we sat in the rain and talked. We resumed shooting after the pandemic subsided. You should all be aware of the unexpected incidents that happened in my life then. I was taken off the sets during the last days of filming “I don’t want to speak about that incident as it is currently under investigation. My production house was inundated with emails. Legal notices were sent to almost all cinema associations. They demanded that my name be removed from the titles of the film. They even offered to support the film if my name is removed. I did not find it difficult to convince my colleagues and friends because they knew everything. Meanwhile, news began to appear in some media. Yet the mainstream media gave no news of this. Later we learned that the media that had hunted me were associated with them.
“All these incidents had caused major problems for me, my family, friends and the people who worked on this film. They even threatened to block the release of the film. The producer and associations may have responded to their emails. I struggled a lot to keep my name in the movie I directed. The ones sitting with me now are the people who supported me in that fight. They kept saying they wouldn’t allow us to do this movie But the lead actor NIvin Pauly and producer Sunny Wayne insisted that the film would not be released without my name in it I have no idea what will happen to me if I get out of here because they are really powerful people. would alienate us by accusing us of not being politically aware They are the same people who are concerned with good, evil and social consciousness But they have the power to corner us I don’t know what will happen to me, but i’m not afraid. I understand that a person becomes fearless when they are constantly exploited and tortured. She complained that I had not made the corrections she suggested in ‘Padavettu’. She may have even asked Nivin to step out of the project. But he clearly wasn’t listening. After a while, she demanded that my name be erased from the movie I’m directing. We understood this from the emails constantly sent to the producers,” he claimed.
“It was the World Council of Churches that constantly sent these emails. We respect that association and understand its relevance. But I want to say that some individuals are trying to exploit the power of this association. Everything happens because of ego, right? Even the technicians of this film know about the problems these people had caused because they were also affected. Nivin had done ‘Mooothon’ and Thuramugham’ with that team. From what Nivin told me, I understood that she became interested in the story when Nivin excitedly talked about the film to her. In 2019, I told the story to her, thinking it would be a positive contribution to the film.”
He added that he insisted that he make the final decisions on the film he was directing when she suggested the changes. “She then said that this film would never take place. I would like to say that the investigative team must prove whether Geethu Mohandas is behind the sexual assault case against me. I am cooperating in the investigation. I have never asked anyone to support me in this case. Me and my team have decided to face up to the allegations legally. For a new director it is quite a task to make a big budget mainstream movie starring a superstar. They demanded that my name be removed when such” One movie was about to come out Letters were sent to all cinema associations including the All India Producers Association demanding that my name be removed from the titles Even when my movie was released and my name appeared on the screen , they kept writing to have him removed. I have proof of that. As far as newcomers are concerned, such acts of revenge cause a lot of suffering. Nivin Pauly and Sunny Wayne have so far not responded because we want to face those people legally. More than me they had all thing. I’m sure they too would say what we’ve said now if you ask them,” Liju said.