Filmmaker Shirish Kunder called a press conference in Mumbai on Friday, to clarify his standing on the ongoing controversy involving his short film Kriti'. YouTube decided to take the film down, along with the other short film BOB' directed by Nepali filmmaker Aneel Neupane.
The Joker' director was accompanied by his lead actor Manoj Bajpayee and lawyer Rizwan Siddiqui.
"There is an internet platform (Vimeo) where people upload their films. Usually, the time and date when the film is uploaded is mentioned. But there are some sites where you can upload the films now and show that it was shot four ago. This is exactly what has happened with Kriti."
When asked about the reason behind YouTube removing the film from their website, Shirish's lawyer Rizwan said "YouTube doesn't play judge. They remove it first and then ask the makers to solve the problem and come to them. We are honest filmmakers. The film was watched by 3 million people. Suddenly there's a claim from someone who isn't from the industry but is just internet savvy"
Actor Manoj Bajpayee said Shirish discussed the idea of his short film during Eid last year. He said he was hurt when people said the idea was stolen.
"No film of mine has been said to be copied. The movie's idea was discussed last year on Eid with Shirish, and that was when we decided to do it. Shirish wasn't even going to make a short film. He is full length feature film director. People like me are known for experimental things. it was hurtful because I saw everything happen in front of me and then someone comes and says, Aap chor hai'"
"We are being abused on Twitter and Facebook for a short film that is being watched widely. We have invested so much time and worked hard on it. I feel bad for him as he was being victimised by a crook" Manoj added.
Shirish said the Nepalese man, who is a marriage video maker, just wanted to get famous.
"We didn't even monetise it.. We wanted to try something new and when we did, we are being abused for it. That man (referring to Aneel Neupane) wanted to be famous, and now, his motive is fulfilled. He is a marriage video maker. We are professional filmmakers and still, we have to give explanation," Shirish said.
Shirish said there were three types of people that were constantly attacking them.
"First, it's the Nepali citizens. I understand because they are being loyal to their nation. It is natural because they don't know the truth. Second, the trolls. They can also be ignored because that is their work. The third is the media, and I don't know why. Why were they saying its copied? When the film was made public in May, how can I copy it? It's frustrating. I am not even that successful, why is everyone bringing me down?" he asked.
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