Accusations continue flying between Sanjay Gupta and Kunal Kohli over the 'Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara' awards controversy
Despite winning the Best Picture trophy at the recent Colors Screen Awards, Zoya Akhtar's Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara seems to have raised quite a controversial situation between filmmakers Sanjay Gupta and Kunal Kohli.
Now Gupta claims that Kunal arm-twisted the jury that was all set to disqualify ZNMD from the list. Says Gupta, "One day before the awards, the entire jury was having a discussion over which film should win Best Picture.
When I walked in, I strongly opposed giving the award to the film. Not just because I knew it strongly resembles the 1985 film Fandango, but also because The Dirty Picture according to me was a much deserving film.
Also, when Shekhar Kapur saw how similar Fandango and ZNMD looked, he put his foot down and said that the film should be out of the race.
Even other jury members like John Mathew Mathan, Bhanu Athaiya and Pradeep Sarkar agreed. However, post this discussion, one jury member made calls to the rest and tried to influence their decision."
Upon observing another hue and cry on the way, he did not bother to protest further. Adds the filmmaker, "Shekhar even suggested that ZDMD can be given a special jury mention, and TDP could be given the award, but even that wasn't accepted."
Kunal Kohli reacts to Gupta's statement, saying, "Sanjay Gupta can say whatever he wants, but what happens within the jury will stay there. It shouldn't be spoken about in public. I am just one member and I don't know how it is possible for me to influence everyone. They all have their own opinions."
Also he hints at the fact that Gupta may have a personal interest in TDP, since the latter's next is being produced by Balaji Telefilms. He quips, "By the way, who is producing Gupta's next film?"
Shekhar Kapur, the chairman of the jury added, "When we sign on as jury members we have a confidentiality clause. I won't break that by speaking about what transpired between us."
However, sources say that Farhan and Zoya feel unnecessarily dragged into the muddle. Adds a source, "They did not accept the award because it was for Best Picture and not Best Pictures. They were not comfortable sharing the title."