'October' faces plagiarism heat; Marathi filmmaker cries foul

Budding Marathi director Sarika Mene has alleged the National Award-winning director Shoojit Sircar's latest venture "October" is a copy of her film.

Sarika claims the makers of "October" have picked up the main plot point and characters from her 2017 production "Aarti – The Unknown Love Story".

The Varun Dhawan-starrer romantic drama hit the theatres last week.

"When the trailer was out, I did get a gut feeling that it would be same, I was wondering such a big name would not do this to me so I thought it will be (just a) little glance of my film.

"When the film released and I saw it, it was 90 per cent same. He (Shoojit) is such a respected person... I have seen his films like 'Piku', 'Vicky Donor' I was like he has a (story) sense I am shocked he did this," Sarika told PTI.

She first filed a complaint with the Akhil Bharatiya Marathi Chitrapat Maha Mandal, that represents Marathi filmmakers, and later approached the Indian Motion Pictures Producers' Association (IMPPA) and Screen Writers Association.

"The complaint was filed a week back and so far we have not got any response. I kept quiet because I wanted to know things from him.

"I have my evidence, I would want him to show his evidence. I feel there is something wrong as for why he is taking so much time to reply to it ('October') is your baby, you need to respond immediately," she said.

Reacting to the claims, Shoojit told PTI, "We have received a letter. And we will surely respond to the letter officially... We will let you know our official statement."

Also, a criminal complaint has been filed against Shoojit and "October" writer Juhi Chaturvedi at the Vile Parle police station, the Marathi director said.

Sarika said she has been asked to show her film to the associations.

"I was pleading with them to see my film first and then watch 'October' and they finally want to see it now. I want justice on the basis of merit. I don't know how much time it will take to sort this thing out," she added.

However, the director said "October" is a brilliant work.

"I am nothing in front of them, I am just a starter. I did this film for my brother, my intention was to talk about causes through cinema.

"I appreciate their work. But their claim about the storyline or plotline being imaginary and a work of fiction are wrong, it is a theft. You can't steal anybody's work. There was a way for doing this, you could have taken the rights and made this film," Sarika said.

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