Budding Marathi director Sarika Mene has alleged the National Award-winning director Shoojit Sircar’s latest venture October is a copy of her film. Sarika claims the makers of October have picked up the main plot point and characters from her 2017 production Aarti – The Unknown Love Story. The Varun Dhawan-starrer romantic drama hit the theatres last week.
“When the trailer was out, I did get a gut feeling that it would be same, I was wondering such a big name would not do this to me so I thought it will be (just a) little glance of my film. When the film released and I saw it, it was 90 per cent same. He (Shoojit) is such a respected person… I have seen his films like ‘Piku’, ‘Vicky Donor’ I was like he has a (story) sense I am shocked he did this,” Sarika told PTI.
She first filed a complaint with the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Chitrapat Maha Mandal, that represents Marathi filmmakers, and later approached the Indian Motion Pictures Producers’ Association (IMPPA) and Screen Writers Association. “The complaint was filed a week back and so far we have not got any response. I kept quiet because I wanted to know things from him. I have my evidence, I would want him to show his evidence. I feel there is something wrong as why he is taking so much time to reply as it (‘October’) is your baby, you need to respond immediately,” she said.
Reacting to the claims, the film’s team released a statement. “We understand that there are some allegations of copyright infringement against our film October. We are creative people and have full faith in our work and our team, which has given extraordinary films like Piku, Pink etc. We have not heard of the film “Aarti” nor do we have full details of the matter as yet. We are sensitive towards feelings of film makers. We will look into this and deal with it appropriately,” read the statement.
Earlier, Shoojit told PTI, “We have received a letter. And we will surely respond to the letter officially… We will let you know our official statement.” Also, a criminal complaint has been filed against Shoojit and October writer Juhi Chaturvedi at the Vile Parle police station, the Marathi director said. Sarika said she has been asked to show her film to the associations. “I was pleading with them to see my film first and then watch ‘October’ and they finally want to see it now. I want justice on the basis of merit. I don’t know how much time it will take to sort this thing out,” she added.
However, the director said October is a brilliant work. “I am nothing in front of them, I am just a starter. I did this film for my brother, my intention was to talk about causes through cinema. I appreciate their work. But their claim about the story line or plot line being imaginary and a work of fiction, is wrong, it is a theft. You can’t steal anybody’s work. There was a way for doing this, you could have taken the rights and made this film,” Sarika said.