Indie cinema saviour, producer Manish Mundra’s bluff called out

Producer Manish Mundra made a sly entry into Bollywood, by offering to produce director Rajat Kapoor‘s film, ‘Aankhon Dekhi’. Mundra is the CEO of Indorama Petrochemnicals, a subsidiary of Indorama group in Nigeria. He shuttles between Nigeria and Dubai, where his family lives, but his Bollywood dreams got him to Mumbai, and is now known to produce films which no mainstream producer will touch. One of the films he produced, ‘Masaan‘ won laurels at Cannes last year. One of the other films that Mundra produced last year was, ‘X: Past Is Present,’ which had ten directors telling ten stories. The movie opened to mix responses, and is now available to watch on Netflix. Sudhish Kamath, the director who made this film happen, and put the stories together, has issued a statement against his producer, Manish Mundra.

Sudhish wrote on his Facebook wall, “35 crore turnover?! Indie saviour. Manish Mundra The man behind Drishyam Films the production company that hasn’t paid any of the X- Past is Present filmmakers (or crew) a buck for over two years of work after getting them to make films with stars at 1500 dollar budgets per segment (AND insisting on a solo producer credit) I have maintained a dignified silence for long but the fact that the studio has money for this bullshit PR campaign and none to pay filmmakers pisses me off! More for another day when I’m less angry. Keep my money as a donation for the fine films you are producing, Mr. Mundra. I really don’t mind being homeless because I know I’ll be fine making my small films out of a suitcase but it’s time you pay the other ten filmmakers direction fees especially since you robbed them off the producer credit. This time, I hope you and your CEO are capable of a response more mature and/or sensitive than: “You are a real pain in the a**.” or “Throw 50,000 at them and cut down the release from 300 to 30 screens.” Wishing you and your films all the luck. Cheers. P.S: The film produced for under 50 lakhs (with another 15 spent on premieres and Film Bazaar) released on Nov 20, 2015 and recovered 92 lakhs by the CEO’s own admission before the studio lied about not being able to re-censor it for TV to sell satellite rights because… someone isn’t qualified or competent enough for the job and was stupid enough to spend 1.5 crores on selling a 1500-dollar-per-segment-anthology- experimental film as a multi-starrer without the approval from/ consultation with any of the other 11 EQUAL stakeholders involved.”

Now that Sudhish has opened the can of worms, we wonder if he will get sued by Mundra, or get the dues of his cast and crew. Do you think Sudhish did the right thing by coming out in the open about his woes?

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