Trouble is brewing for the makers of Akshay Kumar-Bhumi Pednekar starrer Toilet: Ek Prem Katha. Documentary film-maker Praveen Vyas has sent a legal notice to the distribution company Viacom 18 Motion Pictures alleging that several dialogues and moments in the film have been directly lifted from his documentary, Manini.
Manini had bagged the third prize at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI) last year in Goa.
Praveen told Mumbai Mirror as he said, “Manini follows the female protagonist as she protests against lack of a toilet in her marital home on the first night of her marriage after female relatives wake her up before sunrise to tend to nature’s call in an open field. The scenes in Toilet: Ek Prem Katha’s trailer shows the same interaction between characters.”
The film was awarded a cerificate of appreciation by I&B Minister, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and has also been uploaded in the official website of the National Film Development Corporation. (NFDC)
The screenplay writer, Shanker Arnimesh of Manini, is said to have been shocked to see the initial trailers of Toilet: Ek Prem Katha.
He said, “The makers of Toilet: Ek Prem Katha had two weeks, which was extended to a further seven days, to respond to the notice. They reverted through their legal team at Naik Naik & Co. on June 28. Since they have denied all our allegations and refused to monetarily compensate us for the origin of idea and script, we will now be fighting this in court.”
The co-producer of the Akshay Kumar movie has responded to the allegations and said that all of it is baseless and borders on harassment. “The script of our film has been registered under our writers’ names, Siddharth and Garima, with the authorised industry association since 2013. Furthermore, the film has been in the public domain through various news stories since July 2015. We firmly deny all the claims made by this gentleman who is obviously misled. It is sad that genuine producers have become soft targets for this kind of nuisance.”
The movie has been helmed by Shree Narayan Singh and is slated to hit the screens on 11 August 2017