Film directors allege Sanjjanaa misused #MeToo campaign

Film directors allege Sanjjanaa misused #MeToo campaign

Sanjjanaa Galrani had alleged that the director Ravi Srivatsa had threatened her during the shooting of Kannada movie Ganda, Hendthi and Boyfriend when she refused to shoot for multiple kissing scenes. (Photo courtesy: Facebook)

The director and other members of the team that made the 2006 Kannada film 'Ganda Hendathi' have accused actress Sanjjanaa Galrani of "misusing" the #MeToo movement. 

In a social media post last week, Sanjjanaa, who started her career with the film, had accused the director Ravi Srivatsa of forcing her to do "dozens of kissing scenes". She said the director threatened to destroy her career while the film crew repeatedly harassed her during the shoot in Bangkok. 

Riled by the accusation, Srivatsa addressed a press conference at the office of the Karnataka Film Directors' Association on Wednesday with the movie's assistant director Mussanje Mahesh, cinematographer Mathew Rajan, editor Lakshman Reddy and other crew members in tow. All of them denied Sanjjanna's accusation. 

READ: Now, #MeToo hits Sandalwood music industry

V Nagendra Prasad, the association's president, described Sanjjanaa's accusation as a "cheap publicity gimmick". He said the film fraternity supported the #MeToo movement but some actresses were "misusing" it. 

Mahesh presented the cuttings of newspaper articles that quoted Sanjjanaa saying positive things about the film and the director. Srivatsa said: "Baseless allegations have spoilt my 24 years of hard work, and the name and fame that I gained in the Kannada film industry." 

READ: #MeToo: Kannada movie Balekempa dropped from DIFF

According to him, the accusation had particularly shocked him because Sanjjanaa had invited him to her birthday party at a five-star hotel on October 14, days before she made the accusation on October 17. He also remembered Sanjjanaa asking him to do a remake of 'Jism 2' and that she was ready to act in it. 

Sanjjanaa, presently in the US, however, stood her ground and said she would file a formal complaint with the Karnataka Film Artistes' Association after returning to Bengaluru. "After that film, he hardly did 4-5 movies whereas I have done 45 films. In fact, Ravi recently asked me for money but I told him I would do a film but I am not in a position to lend him money." 

The actress also apologised if anyone, other than Srivatsa, was hurt by her accusation. 


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