Nandan Kudhiyadi was approached by Anagha Ghaisas for the first time in 2007 to make a film on NCP supremo Sharad Pawar. While that project didn’t take off, he was contacted again by her in 2008 for making a film on NDA. This one, a documentary titled My Flag My Life, did release, but Nandan was never paid his full fees.
What is worse is that even after a five-year long court case, which Nandan won, Ghaisas is yet to pay him his dues.
Ghaisas is one of the members nominated to the FTII society under the “persons of eminence” category.
Nandan is an internationally acclaimed director and a three-time National Award winner and also the recipient of the prestigious Golden Lotus award. He is an alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) and also has been an academic council member of the institute.
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A copy of the order passed by the court of civil judge (junior division) in the case is available with The Indian Express.
As per Ghaisas’s directions, shooting for the documentary was conducted at various events at NDA over period of eight months. Apart from NDA, shoots were also held at various outstation locations. “There were no production executives and I shouldered the responsibility. I also wrote the first draft commentary and was assured compensation for the same. I supervised most of the post-production work. But when I asked for my remuneration, she became evasive and refused to pay me the full amount,” says Nandan.
Of the Rs 5,80,000 that Nandan had asked for, Ghaisas had paid Rs 1,75,000. A suit for Rs 4,05,000 as the balance amount and Rs 40,000 towards interest since 03-03-09 till date of final realization of the amount at 24 per cent interest was filed by Nandan in Pune Sessions court in July 2009.
During the hearing, Ghaisas conceded that Nandan had informed her about his fees for NDA film after which she arranged the pass for him for access to NDA premises. She also admitted that Nandan shot the film from 24-06-08 to 03-03-09. The CD produced on record contains Nandan’s name as director of the documentary. But the CD that was given to the The Indian Express has her name along with Sanjay Dabke’s as the director, instead of Nandan’s.
“During the cross-examination of the defendant, it came in evidence that film production is only her occupation. She had not taken education in film shooting, editing and directing. She does not know the difference between fiction and documentary. Defendant (Ghaisas) does not have technical knowledge regarding film-making,” said the court order.
The court finally ordered that Ghaisas needed to pay Nandan Rs 4,05,000 within three months. She was also directed to pay six per cent interest per annum on the amount from the date of the suit till the date of actual realization of the amount. The court order came out on November 15, 2014. Six months since, Ghaisas is yet to pay any money to Nandan.
“I would not like to comment on whether she is a person of eminence or not as it is government’s choice on what kind of people they want in the FTII society. If she had gracefully paid me upfront or at least after the court verdict, this matter would have never come up,” Nandan said.
Talking about the case, an FTII student, Ajayan Adat, said, “The court verdict tells you two things — financial and ethical misconduct.
She has no knowledge about films, as mentioned in the court order. Then what was the eminence that the government saw? The government should look into the case history of other members too before selecting them.”
Despite repeated calls and messages, Anagha Ghaisas refused to respond.