Friday, December 01, 2017 13:33 IST
The District Court issued Stay Order on the movie 'The Fakir of Venice' on 27th November 2017. The Co-Producers of the movie alleged that the Director of the movie, Anand Surapur was trying to release it without the knowledge and consent of Thirsty Crow Films LLP, which owns the rights to this movie.
Tejas Deshpande, partner of Thirsty Crow LLP had funded production of the film, filed a suit in Pune court after learning that Anand Surapur along with October Films wishes to release the movie.
District judge J T Utpat restrained the director Anand Surapur and his firm Phat Phish India Private Limited, Mumbai, from releasing the film and has given 90 days' time to invoke arbitration in the case.
As per the Civil Application filed by Deshpande, having produced Marathi films, he wished to enter Hindi film production. Surapur approached through a common friend and represented that he requires funds Rs 3 crores for completing post-production of the film including music and sound track from A R Rahman and further claimed that the film will do business of over Rs 60 crores. Deshpande agreed to purchase rights of the film, as well as release the film by initially infusing of Rs. 3 crores and Rs. 6 crores after completing the film, printing, advertising and other expenses as demanded by Surapur.
Accordingly, a MOU was executed between Deshpande's CrimsonCobalt Media Pvt Ltd and Surapur on 15th March 2014 at Pune and they incorporated Thirsty Crow Films LLP., wherein Surapur brought the film and all its present and future rights, title and interest and the intellectual property rights as its capital contribution, which was valued at about Rs 6.3 crores or the actual expenditure incurred by it, whichever being the lower. It was further decided that CrimsonCobalt Media Pvt Ltd would bring in the capital contribution of Rs. 3 crores in a phased manner and the same was to be utilized slowly for completing the film.
"We paid a total of Rs 1.46 crores to Surapur as and when he demanded. However, he did not take sufficient efforts to complete production of the film to make it ready for the release. He diverted the funds and completion of the film got stuck. We even paid Rs 50 lakhs to Mr. A. R. Rahman, upon insistence of Mr. Surapur. As we were cheated, we filed an FIR with Koregaon Park Police Station and the Pune Police Crime Branch arrested Surapur and his employee Nitin Bhujanga Shetty in 2015. The Economic Offence Wing filed a charge sheet in the case which is pending trial. Surapur issued a notice through his lawyer stating that the firm (LLP) was dissolved, which as per law, he cannot do unilaterally. When we contacted Surapur, he asked for some more time and claimed that he was busy with some projects in South India. We waited but in May this year we came to know that he is releasing the film which is being advertised on bookmyshow.com portal along with trailer. Surapur has no legal rights over the film. As per clause of the LLP, any dispute must be resolved mutually and we have no option but to go for arbitration`, Deshpande's application states.
Madhuri Bogawat, director of CrimsonCobalt Media said, "We are thankful to the court for granting restraining order. The Fakir of Venice is a great film and hope to resolve the matter through arbitration and release it soon."
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