‘Neerja’ controversy: Fox Star Studios clears the air over disagreement with Bhanot family
Sonam Kapoor‘s ‘Neerja’ created a history of its own. The film that glorified the story of Neerja Bhanot, a purser on Pan Am Flight who sacrificed her life to save the passengers from the hijackers, received accolades from all corners. Sonam bagged a National Award too for the same. But unfortunately, the makers found themselves amidst a controversy when Neerja Bhanot’s family moved to court accusing the makers of illegal business practices. Apparently, the makers had promised a share of profit to the Bhanot family which they failed to comply with. ‘Neerja’ was produced by Atul Kasbaker’s Bling Unplugged and Fox Star Studios.
Now, Fox Star Studios have released a statement over the same. Their statement reads,
Fox Star Studios is extremely proud of its film ‘Neerja’ and holds the Bhanot family in great esteem. However, the facts are that the Studios does not have any contractual obligations towards the Bhanot family as the life rights and permissions were obtained by Blingg Unplugged from the Late Neerja Bhanot’s family long before Fox Star Studios came onboard to produce the film. Fox Star Studios has been duly honouring its contractual obligations towards Blingg Unplugged. It’s unfortunate that Blingg and Bhanot family have not been able to resolve their disagreements. The life story of Neerja Bhanot inspired the nation and the movie created history, created memories that we deeply cherish, memories that will last forever. We hope for quick resolution to the ongoing issue.
While filing a complaint in court, Bhanots’ legal counsel, Hemant Saini, informed a leading tabloid, “The parties entered into an agreement which promised the family 10 per cent profits, over and above the initial stipulated amount. Now, the producers are indicating that the contract referred to the percentage made by Bling Alone, and not by both the producers. They claim that the amount the family is demanding belongs to Fox, which, they say, is not a party to the agreement. They say most of the profits have gone to the studio and they can only give what they have. However, it was made clear that if the producers assign the rights to anybody else (in this case, to Fox), they too will be bound by this agreement. It’s a clear case of cheating.”
Watch this space to get further details over the same. (Also Read: Exclusive: Ram Madhvani dedicates National Award to Neerja Bhanot’s family)