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Director Saurabh Varma files a case against Dar Motion Pictures

Looks like the production house Dar Motion Pictures is now making a habit of getting into trouble. Earlier, Nitin Keni served them a legal notice on behalf of Zee’s Essel Vision when despite being a co-producer for The Lunchbox, they were not kept in the loop about awarding the film’s distribution rights to UTV and Karan Johar.

From left: Varun Badola, Vivek Rangachari, Pooja Gupta, Manish Paul and director Saurabh Varma
From left: Varun Badola, Vivek Rangachari, Pooja Gupta, Manish Paul and director Saurabh Varma

Soon after, D-Day director Nikhil Advani expressed his anger against Dar Motion Pictures on social media. He was upset about the production house selling the Telugu rights of the film to a distributor who, in turn, showcased it as a sleazy film by using a scantily clad photograph of Shruti Hassan in the film’s publicity material. Shruti disassociated herself from the film and is said to be upset with the production house. Recently, it emerged that noted criminal Charles Sobhraj has sent them a legal notice restraining them from making a biopic on his life.

The latest news has it that Saurabh Varma, the writer and director of Mickey Virus, has sent registered a complaint against Dar Motion Pictures with the Indian Films and Television Directors Association (IFTDA. Varma has also filed a case over non-payment of dues and for allegedly stopping him from working on other projects.

Says a source, “Mickey Virus was one of the highest grossing films of 2013 in the new actor and new director category, and it was sold to two co-producers — Trilogic Media and Awesome Films — soon after the first promo was out. Post this, Dar has shown no interest in sharing the income with the film’s stakeholders or selling the film’s satellite rights.”
He adds that he doesn’t want to say much right now. “I just wanted them to honour their commitment and give me my dues as per the contractual understanding. I am a filmmaker who wants to make good films and they are being unreasonable in restricting me from doing so.”

Ashok Pandit, President, IFTDA, says, “Saurabh has been wronged by the production house. We have sent a notice to them and they will have to appear at the dispute committee meeting next week. You cannot make a producer wait for three years. Either make films with him or they should let him make films outside the banner.”

When contacted, Vivek Rangachari from Dar Motion Pictures denied any knowledge about Saurabh registering a case against them. “I have been travelling and I will have to speak to my lawyer to check if we have received a notice, because I am not aware of it as yet,” he said. Asked about Varma’s dues, Rangachari said, “We need to see that the script is up to the mark and the rest will be sorted out with Saurabh.”

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