By: Upala KBR, Mid-Day
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Shootout At Lokhandwala producers Ekta and Shobha Kapoor (Balaji Telefilms) and personnel from Sanjay Gupta"s White Feather Films (WFF) had a huge showdown on Monday night. It all started when director Apoorva Lakhia informed the Kapoors he hadn"t been paid his fees for the film.
Reveals a Balaji source, “Apu came to us last week saying that he hadn"t been paid 30 percent of his fees for Shootout At Lokhandwala. Shobha and Ekta were stunned, because Balaji had paid Rs 15 crore to White Feather Films towards fees for the film"s cast and crew.
On Monday evening, Shobha called Hanif (WFF"s head accountant) and Hansal Mehta (CEO, WFF) for a meeting, along with Ramesh Sippy (Head, Films Division, Balaji and Ekta"s uncle), Lakhia and personnel from Balaji and White Feather Films."
Minutes of meeting
The source reveals what followed at the meeting, saying, “It became known that Apoorva had been promised a certain amount as fees for Shootout, and an additional Rs 25 lakh if the film became a hit.
However, he was yet to receive his remuneration. Even if WFF didn"t give him the additional money, he requested that they at least pay him the fees promised by Sanjay Gupta."
This escalated into a big argument. “Sanjay has been going around telling people that he got the Bachchans to do Shootout at a cheap package deal of Rs 1.25 crore. In truth, they did the film free because of their relations with Apu. This too was debated at the meeting as WFF"s accounts showed a different story."
Naturally, Ekta and Shobha were upset because WFF"s accounts showed Amitabh and Abhishek had been paid Rs 2 crore for the film. “The Bachchans and Kapoors have been friends for 35 years, so Ekta and Shobha couldn"t stand anyone maligning them. Mr Bachchan too was upset and called Shobha last week confirming that they hadn"t taken any money," says the source.
No payments made
Apoorva confirms the meeting, saying, “The Bachchans" did this film for me and never asked for a single rupee in return. In fact, when Gupta sent me to ask Mr Bachchan about his remuneration, he made it clear he wouldn"t accept any money from White Feather Films. Gupta should think twice before dragging the Bachchans into his idiotic politics now."
Ramesh Sippy of Balaji says, “Our contract with White Feather Films was to produce the film within a certain budget and we paid them for it. As for the contracts of the cast and crew, they were made directly between WFF and them."
Shobha Kapoor adds that the fight was exaggerated. “I have no dues towards anybody. The showdown is an overstatement."Gupta refused to comment on the story. Meanwhile, Lakhia is yet to receive his payment.
Have Abhishek and you been paid for Shootout At Lokhandwala?
Abhishek and I have worked in Shootout at Lokhandwala because of Apoorva Lakhia.
We have not taken any money or consideration for the film, so the question of being paid does not arise.
It was a gesture extended to Apu because he is family.
But White Feather Films" account shows that you"ve been paid Rs 2 crore.
I have no access to White Feather Films" account sheets. I cannot comment on what they contain.
I can only say that if they are showing payments made to us, it is erroneous because we have not been paid. Let them bring evidence or any proof.