Fashion photographer and the chief managing director of Bling Entertainment Solutions Ltd, Atul Kasbekar, broke his silence days after the family of late flight attendant ,Neerja Bhanot, sent him a legal notice over breach of contract by not sharing the net profits as promised.
In a statement released to ScoopWhoop News, Kasbekar has not only defended the production house but has also denied allegations made by Neerja Bhanot's family.
Here's what the statement reads:
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 film 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 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 Bhanot's 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.
He also posted the same on his Facebook page:
According to the report filed earlier, the Bhanot family had expressed its discontentment towards Bling Entertainment Solutions Ltd, who co-produced the Sonam Kapoor starrer biopic Neerja in collaboration with the Fox-Star Studios.
As per the agreement with Neerja's mother, Rama Bhanot, the family reportedly claimed that the producers were supposed to share 10% of the net profits of the film. However, they offered to pay only a small fraction of it.
The failure in keeping their promise, as per the report, led Akhil and Aneesh Bhanot, the brothers of Neerja, to send the producers a legal notice.
Neerja is a biopic based on the 23-year-old brave flight attendant who sacrificed her life for saving about 300 passengers from hijackers in 1986. The film was critically acclaimed and went on to win awards and accolades in equal measure.
(Feature Image Source: AFP)