Shirish Kunder's short film Kriti, which has been the subject of a controversy for the past week over allegations of plagiarism by Nepalese filmmaker Aneel Neupane, has been removed from YouTube.
The website pulled down the psychological thriller — starring Manoj Bajpayee, Radhika Apte, and Neha Sharma — on Tuesday stating: "This video is no longer available due to a copyright claim by Aneel Neupane".
A week ago, Neupane wrote a Facebook post that went viral. It stated that Kriti was copied from his own short film Bob, which was completed in October 2015 and had been online on Vimeo and YouTube since December 2015 and May 2016 respectively. He urged people to spread the word and report the video for plagiarism.
Despite many obvious similarities in plot, production design, and even dialogue, Kunder insisted that it would have been "practically and logically impossible" for him to have "stolen" Neupane's idea, given that he hadn't seen it and had shot his film about three months before Bob arrived on YouTube.
On Monday, he filed a legal notice against Neupane, seeking a written apology as well as alleging that it was perhaps him who came across a script of Kriti — which he had shared with "a few people" — and was then inspired to make Bob. "Assuming your position is correct that the two films are so similar, then it is you who has infringed our client's copyright," said the notice, according to a Mumbai Mirror report.
As Neupane celebrated his 'victory' against Kunder, his friends and supporters expressed elation. A few memes and jokes at the expense of the Jaan-E-Mann (2007) director were shared on Facebook.
Watch Bob below.
Also see on HuffPost: