The recently released Shirish Kunder’s short film Kriti, has been greeted with critical acclaim. The film stars Manoj Bajpayee, Radhika Apte, Neha Sharma and Manu Rishi.
Kinder however recently got into a controversy when a filmmaker from Nepal named Aneel Neupane went onto claim that ‘Shirish Kunder had ‘stolen his plot’ and that Kriti is been copied from his Kathmandu based Aneel Neupane’s BOB.
The moment Aneel Neupane got to know about Kriti, he immediately took to Facebook and poured his heart out. The following is his post in which he has given a blow by blow account of what and how exactly all this happened.
Aneel Neupane posted “My name is Aneel Neupane and I’m a filmmaker. My team at Jazz Productions and I worked super hard to make our latest release BOB. We gave our blood and sweat to this project. We had a super hard time finding anyone to fund this project, so we pleaded our friend Tejaswee Rajthala (Jazz Productions Australia) to invest and he did. But We were constrained by the budget limitation of NRS. 50,000 (32,000 Indian Rupees). It was not a lot to go on with, but I’m personally super grateful to the whole cast and crew for believing in the story, volunteering and making it possible to create this film in that limited budget. We had the film ready in October 2015. I had uploaded it on Vimeo as a private video to share it with close friends. You can see here that the video is 7 months old. We finally released it on youtube on May 12, 2016. As of right now, there are 3033 views. Although that’s not a lot of views, I have been getting a lot of messages and amazing feedback from so many people! Thank you all for appreciating BOB. Your response made me feel like all the effort and sleepless nights were worth it. However! (Plot twist here). Yesterday (June 23, 2016), I woke up to find Kriti on youtube. Initially, I thought maybe the first few frames, the setting and characters resembled BOB. I thought it was just a co-incidence. I was actually excited to watch a short film starring Mr. Manoj Bajpayee (A great actor whom I admire a lot!) and Neha sharma (whom I’ve had a HUGE crush on ever since I saw her in the movie Crook). As the movie progressed, I was shocked to find so much similarities. Now, I have no idea how to go about on this. I’m angry not because Mr. Shirish Kunder practically stole the plot and made it into his film. I’m angry because We didn’t even have lunch money while shooting BOB, and a spot boy for Kriti probably made more money than BOB’s entire budget. My team and I didn’t work our asses off just so some rich dude from India could turn it into this and get away with it. That’s just not fair. On the plus side: In today’s Movie Industry, so many Nepali films are being made that are “inspired” from Bollywood. It feels like most Nepali Filmmakers just sit and watch of a couple Bollywood movies and mix the plot together to make one crappy Nepali film. And my film was able to inspire A-Class Bollywood actors and filmmakers. I think that’s a win for Nepal. It’s nice to know that a smalltime rookie filmmaker from Nepal was able to inspire Big Time director and actors in Bollywood. Now, honestly, I’m clueless as to what I have to do next. If I take the fight to them, I don’t think I’m equipped financially or otherwise. It would just be a tiny voice screaming from far away for them. And a lot of people told me that they will just get away with it as they have by ripping off of numerous other films from all over the world. It would be nice if you guys would help report the video on youtube.”
In his defense, Shirish Kunder termed the allegations as baseless. He says that the short film (Bob) was released on May 12 whereas he shot Kriti in February, after which it was in post-production. So it’s practically impossible for him to copy that film. Kunder further added that they are just doing this to gain publicity.