Akshay Kumar’s Toilet Ek Prem Katha in copyright row, producer denies allegations
Source : India Today
The trailer of Akshay Kumar and Bhumi Pednekar's Toilet: Ek Prem Katha has been lauded by one and all, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi. But there is one person who is not impressed. Filmmaker Praveen Vyas has sent a legal notice and a cease and desist notice for the film's trailer and promotional campaign, Mumbai Mirror reports.
Praveen Vyas, whose 2016 docu-feature Manini also revolves around the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, has alleged that several scenes and dialogues Akshay and Bhumi's film are a direct copy of his documentary.
"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 filmmaker told the publication.
His film beat thousands of entries centred on the theme of Swachh Bharat to win the third prize at last year's International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa. Post this win, Manini was uploaded on the National Film Development Corporation's official website, and awarded a certification of appreciation by Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.
Vyas said that he and his screenplay writer, Shanker Arnimesh, were both shocked that their "novel" plot and "unique" characters have been replicated in Toilet: Ek Prem Katha. Talking about the legal notice sent to the film's production and distribution company, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures, he said, "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."
Shital Bhatia, co-founder of Friday Filmworks that is co-producing Toilet: Ek Prem Katha, denied the allegations and told the daily, "These allegations are baseless and border 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."