Cannes Controversy

Indian controversies at Cannes seem to be stretching beyond what our celebrities are wearing with Reliance Big Entertainment embroiled in a copyright tussle with Mr. Avinaash Jumani, who handles international sales for the Mumbai-based family film distribution company, WEG India Pictures Pvt Ltd. The Telegraph reports that Mr. Jumaani is threatening to take legal action against Anil Ambani’s group on the grounds that the movie “Waiting for Clinton” (a project he says he has purchased) is on the list of 69 movies Reliance hopes to make or market. ]

According to The Times of India: Reliance Big Entertainment, the media and entertainment arm of the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group has finalised 69 films in nine languages for production and distribution over the next two years.

The Telegraph adds that there has also been an undisclosed amount invested in making movies in collaboration with Hollywood stars like George Clooney and Brad Pitt. The problem lies in the list of 69 movies which Reliance released in which the name “Waiting for Clinton” also figures. Mr. Jumaani claims that he has already put in money into acquiring the story for the film and initiating the project.

Mr. Jumaani was willing to concede that Reliance might have purchased rights to a story that was not for sale however “on behalf of Reliance, Amit Khanna, chairman of Reliance Big Entertainment, denied the company had breached copyright. “We are one of the producers,” he said. “He (Jumani) may have some specific rights. There is no conflict in this.”

Jumani said he was left upset and angry after a meeting today in Cannes with Reliance representatives. “I had a discussion with them today but they are simply not bothered by what I have to say. They are saying, ‘it’s your problem.’ Being such a big corporate company and having an attitude is something to be thought about.”

If Mr. Jumaani follows up on his threats to take Big Entertainment to the Courts Reliance may have to consider making this issue their problem as well. We may have to wait for the outcome of this dispute but till then we may take comfort in the fact that some of Bollywood actually seems to be worring about film making and not fashion alone in Cannes.


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