#KritiStoleBob escalates, both films removed from YouTubeThe copyright saga involving two short films stuck at a standoff with both directors refusing to back down from their ‘authenticity’ claims
A day after YouTube removed Bollywood director Shirish Kunder’s short film Kriti due to a copyright claim by Nepali filmmaker Aneel Neupane, the video sharing site has now removed Neupane’s BOB after a counter copyright claim by Abhayan and Singh (INDIE MUVIZ PTE LTD).
With the removal of both the videos, The BOB-Kriti saga, which has hogged headlines this week, is nearing a melting point with both directors refusing to back down
from their claims regarding their ‘authentic’ creation.
The controversy began when Neupane published a statement on Facebook in which he stated that Kunder, who is married to Bollywood director Farah Khan, “practically stole the plot” of his film BOB for his short Kriti.
In response, on Monday, Kunder had filed a legal notice against Neupane and sought a written apology, according to IANS.
Neupane has maintained that
BOB was completed in October, 2015 after which he uploaded it on the video sharing site Vimeo as a private video to share with his close friends. The film was subsequently released on YouTube on May 12, 2016.
Kunder, in his defence said, “I’m aware that posts online are claiming that my short film Kriti has some resemblances with a Nepali film by a completely unknown maker. But the fact is this film was uploaded on YouTube on May 12, while my film was shot and ready in February. The story was locked last year itself so unless I am a time traveller, it is impossible that I copied this film.”
When asked about removal of Kriti from YouTube, Neupane said, “I’m super glad but also a bit nervous. Actually a lot nervous about what’s going to happen next.”
Nepali Tweeps and Facebook users have been trending #KritiStoleBob
in the social media sites for over a week now. Some users have claimed that even the poster of Kriti was ‘inspired’ by a Japanese movie poster. Nepali fans have also initiated a petition demanding Kunder withdraw his legal notice against Neupane.
This is presumably the first time news regarding a Bollywood mainstream film director copying a Nepali film has garnered attention in Nepali, international and social media.
Filmmaker Tulsi Ghimire, who has given hits like Kusume Rumal and Darpan Chhaya, weighing in about the film making process, said, “When you like a film plot and use it along with a setting and theme that matches to your society, that’s inspiration. But putting something taken from a different social background and presenting the plot as it is in a different society is imitating.” However, Ghimire said that he was unaware of BOB-Kriti controversy.
With the controversy escalating throughout the week, fans have remained divided between the two camps. Now, with YouTube removing both the films from their platform, the issue remains far from settled and is looking likely to get drawn out into the coming weeks.