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'Jazbaa' crew members allege partial payment of dues

Writers, DoP and others involved with Sanjay Gupta's last film allege partial payment of dues; producers put the ball in Gupta's court

After hitlist reported about unit hands of Tigmanshu Dhulia's 'Bullett Raja' awaiting their dues three years after the film's release (Wage-ing a war, on May 5), a few people associated with Sanjay Gupta's last directorial, 'Jazbaa', have brought forth a similar complaint.

Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in Jazbaa and Sanjay Gupra
Aishwarya Rai Bachchan in 'Jazbaa' and Sanjay Gupta

Sources suggest dialogue writer Kamlesh Pandey, screenplay writer Robin Bhatt, choreographer Ahmad Khan, director of photography Sameer Arya and a few others have not received full payment for working on the film, which hit theatres on October 9 last year. Unlike 'Bullett Raja', which misfired at the box office leading to losses for the makers, 'Jazbaa' starring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan and Irrfan did fairly well.

"The total amount due is more than Rs 20 lakh. They had reached out to Gupta and he has assured them that the dues will be cleared once he receives the payment from Essel Vision (which produced the film)," says a source.

However, those awaiting their remuneration are in a fix since there is no clarity over who is supposed to clear the dues. Pandey says, "I have not received the last instalment of my pay. We spoke to Gupta and he told us that all payments will be made once he gets a certain amount from Essel Vision. Essel Vision, on the other hand, has informed us that it is the responsibility of Gupta's company."

While Gupta remained unavailable for comment, Nittin Keny, CEO-Essel Vision, says, "Essel Vision was supposed to give the production and direction cost to Sanjay Gupta's company, White Feather Films. We had made payments to him to make the film. He was supposed to enter into an agreement with all actors, writers, technicians and other members, and make the payments to them from the production cost we had given him. If he has not made the payments, then he should be questioned. We have informed the members, who have not received their payments, about this."

Zahir Shah, MD, White Feather films, stated, "We have all the documents that clearly show that White Feather Films has not received the final installment of the cost of production from Essel Vision and we are awaiting the same. Mr Sanjay Gupta is in constant touch with Mr Puneet Goenka and it's shocking that Nitin Keni from Essel Vision is making such statements. As a matter of fact Essel Vision has not even paid one of the other producers Viking Media and Entertainment their share of the cost of production."

Rs 20 lakh
The alleged pending dues

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