Mumbai: The film based on the life of braveherat Neerja Bhanot, ‘Neerja’, played by Sonam Kapoor, has not only succeeded in drawing audiences’ to film theatres but has also earned positive reviews from critics. But a year after its release, the Bhanot family is miffed with the makers of the film for not sticking to their commitment of sharing 10% of its Box office collections with the Neerja Bhanot trust and her family.
Aneesh Bhanot, brother of the late Neerja Bhanot, told a media organisation, “I will not comment on this issue at this stage. All I can tell you is that we will not tolerate injustice.”
Now the co-producers of the film, Bling Unplugged, have issued a statement claiming that all the accusations made by the Bhanot family are false.
Here is what their side of the story:
At the outset, again we'd like to say that we are immensely grateful that the Bhanot family trusted us with making a movie on the life of braveheart, Neerja Bhanot. We started the exercise of making a difficult movie with utmost honesty and the effusive acclaim the film has received is testament to the fact that we succeeded in our endeavour.
The facts of the case are simply thus:
Bling Unplugged had acquired the rights to make 'Neerja' from the Bhanot family. The agreement between Bhanots and Bling clearly spelt out that Bhanots would be paid a fixed upfront amount (which was paid as per the timelines) and a variable amount, which was to be computed as a share of net profits that Bling would receive.
It was always abundantly clear that we would partner with a studio, in this case FoxStar India. The Bhanot family was always aware of the same and have in fact met the studio reps on many occasions. To imply otherwise is simply untrue.
Integrity is a very important aspect of Bling's values and Bling is committed to meeting all its contractual commitments. All financial transactions post release have been shared with the Bhanot family immediately and in a transparent manner.
Their share of the profits, which is a share of ours, has been immediately offered.
They have declined to accept the same and now wish to get a share of the studio profits. This is effectively a retrospective negotiation and not as per what is signed by them years ago.
It is unfortunate that despite having a clear contractual arrangement the Bhanots have decided to dispute the financial understanding at this belated stage.
To reiterate, the amounts due to the Bhanots, as per the existing contract have been repeatedly offered by us to them. To imply anything otherwise, is simply untrue....