Newton is definitely not rip-off of Secret Ballot, says producer of Iranian film on plagiarism charges

FP Staff

Sep 26, 2017 10:30:42 IST

Mumbai: Producer Marco Mueller feels that there is not even a hint of plagiarisation in Rajkummar Rao's Newton, amidst claims that the movie has been inspired from his 2001 Iranian film Secret Ballot.

Last week, Newton was announced as India's official entry for Oscars' foreign language film category.

On Monday night, filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, in a Facebook post, shared Muller's opinion after watching Newton.

"'A pretty decent film, definitely no rip off from our Secret Ballot (even if the general concept is the same)"' and then I asked him if I can share his response on social media? He replied,"Please feel free as you see fit, there is not even a hint of plagiarisation," Kashyap, who spoke in defence of the film on Sunday, posted.

He also shared the screenshot of his conversation with Mueller. On Sunday, defending the film, Kashyap tweeted: "Newton is as much a copy of Secret Ballot as The Avengers is of Watan Ke Rakhwale."

Standing up for its genuineness, Kashyap said, "Newton is an award winner from Berlin fest and I can promise you those curators watch more films in a year than rest of us do in a lifetime."

DNA quotes Suparn Sena, General Secretary, Film Federation of India, the body which decides India's official entry to Oscars, as saying, "No rule for the Best Foreign Film category at the Oscars states that any likeness to any other film in any form is a disqualification. We’ve full faith in the team behind the film and we stand by the film, as of now.” He adds that the plagiarism allegations do not reduce Newton's chances of getting nominated in the Best Foreign Film category at the 90th Academy Awards.

The movie, produced by Manish Mundra of Drishyam Films, had its world premiere at the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival, where it even won an award.

While Newton, which stars National Award-winning actor Rajkummar Rao, revolves around a government employee who struggles to supervise voting in a forest area of Chhattisgarh, controlled by Maoists, Secret Ballot is described as a movie which focuses on the life of a lady ballot officer who visits a barren and desolate place to plead with voters to cast their votes and take part in the elections.

Newton director Amit V Masurkar has already given his take on the controversy, saying, "The story was born from my heart. I had no idea about Secret Ballot."

Meanwhile, meeting the film team's expectations, Newton is attracting audiences to theatres. Trade analyst Taran Adarsh tweeted on Sunday: "Newton shows remarkable 162.5 per cent growth on Saturday. Friday Rs 96 lakh, Saturday Rs 2.52 crore. Total: Rs 3.48 crore India biz."

With inputs from IANS.

Updated Date: Sep 26, 2017 11:43:19 IST

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