No interest to begin with
"I signed up to do a film for Nichanis around 2 years back, Nichanis were the ones, who were actually after me to make a film for them. I wasn't even interested. To woo me, they used to send food for my entire unit when I was shooting for some other film. They just wanted to impress me and make me happy. It was only after my team persisted that they were good people that I actually took a signing amount from them."
Jab We Met
"When I met them finally, they seemed to be very enthusiastic. They really wanted me to make a film for them and were ready with the money. They were quite serious about their filmmaking plans and wanted to do something really big."
"Yes, the signing amount was Rs.5 crore. This was the amount that I used to charge during those days. I was paid by cheque."
Change in mood
"I worked on the entire writing process for 7-8 months. When I was ready, they had a turnaround. They now came back to me and said that they were no more in mood to make a film. Fair enough. But then they also asked me to return the signing amount. Now, that's unfair. Why should I do that?"
"Putting together plans for a film is hard work. For me, it was a lost opportunity. During this time period, I could have worked on some other film and got paid for it. Mera bhi nuksaan hua iss film ke naa shuru hone se. For them, it is a loss of signing amount; for me it is a loss in my career journey. You don't make a creative person work on something and then ask your amount back. Aise nahi hota hai!"
"There was no contract around signing amount or anything. All we had done was write it down on a small piece of paper that I had to work on a film and had been paid the signing amount of Rs.5 crores by cheque. Today, after retracting from their plans, they have sent me a notice through their legal team. That's okay, mera jawaab bhi gaya hai. Yeh sawaal-jawaab toh chal hi rahe hain. Let's see."
BJN Group of Hotels may have changed their mood when it came to their filmmaking plans in Bollywood. However, writer-director anees bazmee doesn't have any plans to change his mood. Though Nichanis of BJN Group are taking a legal route to get back the signing amount of Rs.5 crores that they had paid to Bazmee a couple of years ago, the filmmaker is perplexed with the demand. Bazmee tells his side of the story.