PS Swaminathan, founder and managing director of production and distribution company Pyramid Saimira, passed away in Chennai this morning. His company made its mark in the Tamil cinema, music and entertainment scene in the 2000s. It distributed Mozhi in 2007.
Directed by Radha Mohan, the film starred Prithviraj, Jyotika, Prakash Raj and Swarnamalya in the lead and was a box office success. Swaminathan’s first production venture was Kannamoochi Yenada also in 2007, starring Sathyaraj, Prithviraj, Sandhya and others.
It was jointly produced by Pyramid, UTV and Raadan Media. He followed it up with the small-budget movie Ayudham Seivom directed by Udhayan, starring Sundar C and Anjali. Swaminathan later produced the spy thriller Mukhbir (2008) in Hindi.
He distributed the Madhavan and Sangeetha-starrer Enavo Oruvan, and Vijay and Shriya Saran-starrer Azhagiya Tamil Magan directed by Bharathan. Vijay played a dual role for the first time in his career, and the film had AR Rahman on board for music. It was a big hit and earned Rs 100 crore worldwide.
He later distributed Pasupathi and Meena-starrer Kuselan, with Rajinikanth in a guest role, directed by P Vasu.
The film had the third biggest opening in Tamil Nadu, in August 2008. However, it performed badly at the box office.
PS Swaminathan declared that he faced a loss of Rs 40 crore; the financial problems after this film started affecting his other projects. The release of Yen Ippadi Mayakkinai and Vaanam Partha Seemayile were cancelled despite having audio releases.
Shankar Dayal’s Anandham Arrambam, meant to be actor Adharvaa Murali’s debut, was also shelved after work began. Kamal Haasan’s bilingual Marmayogi was scrapped after Pyramid Saimira was unable to finance the film.
However, Saroja and Naan Kadavul, distributed by them, had a good opening in theatres.
In 2010, the company was debt-ridden to the tune of Rs 500 crore, and cases were filed against Swaminathan by SEBI for breaching its terms. The company used to operate in six countries and was involved in TV and film content production and distribution, and N Narayanan co-chaired it with PS Swaminathan.