Jerrit G John is quite a popular name in the thriving short film community. But the people who know him are aghast to learn what he recently reportedly did to a 26-year-old Worli-based physiotherapist. On Wednesday morning, he flung a hazardous chemical at Aryanka Hosbetkar’s face and ran away. The two were allegedly in a tumultuous relationship for the past ten months.
Owner of No Nonsense Productions one of the leading names in shooting behind-the-scene documentary action on movie sets Jerrit has been part of the crew for films like Slumdog Millionaire, Delhi 6, My Name Is Khan, Rock On!!, Don, Don 2, Wake Up Sid, Sarkar Raj and Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai, amongst others.
However, the short films circuit remembers him for being to Berlin Film Festival for showcasing his own short film titled Rolling. It was shortlisted by the Official Selection of Short Films for the 2006 FIFA World Cup for a contest called Shoot Goals, Shoot Movies. Interestingly, his Facebook account has been deactivated since the day of the attack. He has been absconding since.
Fellow filmmakers are finding it hard to believe that one of their ilk has been embroiled in a gender crime. Cyrus Dastur, founder of Shamiana, India’s largest short film club, remembers Jerrit fondly but is surprised by the latest buzz.
“It’s unfortunate what happened. I’ve known Jerrit for almost 10 years now. He came across as a happy-go-lucky guy and a promising filmmaker. He was also keen on a feature film shortly. If only it was a case of mistaken identity. I wish the truth prevails and the victim gets justice.”
Suyash Khabya, an acquaintance who last saw him eight months ago, expresses similar sentiments. “I met him at a film festival in Orissa. A couple of his short films were screened there. He was a cool chap and I thought he was married so this alleged affair is news to me. Also, he was barely into his late 30s, not mid-40s, as is being reported.”
Kamayani Bali Mahabal, another acquaintance, wants justice though. “He has to let the law take its own course. Running away won’t solve the issue. Whatever his achievements are, it doesn’t exonerate this heinous act he’s committed.” An enraged Farhan Akhtar tweeted yesterday, “Shame on you Jerrit John. Now come out of hiding, you coward.”