In India – ‘Good girls don’t drink, flirt or party’ #Film #Vaw #moralpolicing

New Documentary Shows That Urban India Blames Women For Crimes Against Them

Mithila Phadke TNN

When filmmaker Padmalatha Ravi decided to make a documentary on society’s perceptions of women, she kept it straightforward. A motley crowd of people—from college students to domestic help—were asked what they thought a “good girl” and a “bad girl” were. “A good girl is supposed to be docile,” says a silverhaired lady. “She wears a dress which covers her wholly.” Two college-going boys giggle and say it’s the front-benchers who are tagged as good. On the other hand, “slut”, “goes to discos” and “flirts with boys” are the primary identifiers for a bad girl.
The 14-minute crowd-sourced venture, titled ‘Good Girls Don’t Dance’, is Bangalore-based Padmalatha’s response to the theme of most drawing-room discussions that follow reports of sexual abuse. Invariably, the argument returns to the same question: what was the girl doing outside at a late hour anyway? “After the Delhi incident, the issue of rape was being spoken about like never before,” she says. “I wanted to look at why women are blamed.” The film was completed earlier this year and has been uploaded online for free viewing.
Through the opinions of students, couples, seniors, and families, a troubling picture emerges. The ideal woman keeps herself covered up lest she “provokes” men, abstains from smoking, drinking and flirting. Not having an opinion of her own is also an asset, says a respondent.
The answers were a revelation, says Padmalatha, especially when people were asked who they would hold responsible in case of a rape. Only a handful said “rapist”. A majority blamed society and women. Aside from illustrating how deep stereotypes run, the documentary also disproves that progressive mindset is synonymous with education and financial wellbeing. “We asked a domestic worker if clothes play a role (in instigating rape), she was clear that a person is free to wear what he or she wants,” says Padmalatha. This was in stark contrast to numerous middle-class respondents who held a woman’s attire culpable, at least in part.
Mumbai-based filmmaker Paromita Vohra came across a similar mindset among the middleclass while filming the 2002-documentary ‘Unlimited Girls’. “Sometimes, women who had the chance to experience freedom were the ones least able to recognise that it came from a long legacy of people working for them,” says Vohra. The idea of freedom, as something to be protected, nurtured and recreated for the next generation was shrugged off, or made respondents uncomfortable. Both ‘Unlimited Girls’ and Padmalatha’s film look at how women navigate the urban jungle.
Another film that explores the same idea is ‘Mera Apna Sheher’, by Sameera Jain. Set in New Delhi, the documentary looks at how women are expected to negotiate public spaces. It had college lecturer Komita Dhanda being filmed by a hidden camera as she spends time at a park, a street corner and a paan shop. The camera records the reactions of men to her presence, ranging from confusion to lechery. “It’s something that happens around us every day,” says Jain. Only by choosing to record it does the indignity women face become a subject of debate.
However, the filmmakers have no illusion about their works offering quick solutions. “We are trying to start a conversation on a subject that people are hesitant to talk about,” says Padmalatha. After her film’s first screening in Bangalore, an elderly viewer argued for stringent punishment to keep men in line. A 16-year-old girl stepped in and asked him why there shouldn’t be a balanced approach to solve the problem. That a documentary can spark such debates is what the makers hope for, says Padmalatha.

SEX AND THE CITY: While a domestic worker (left) said people have the right to wear what they want to, students and couples who were interviewed felt that women needed to be covered up; Contemporary dancer Shabari (right) in a shot from the film


#India – ‘Development at Gunpoint’ in Odisha – Ground Report #Video



Apr 30, 2013

The vegetable garden of Odisha is going to be submerged and more than 50 villages displaced; and the name of the game is ‘Development at Gunpoint’ — meaning ‘peaceful industrialization’ as the chief minister claims! Thousands of farmers of the Lower Suktel plateau in Balangir are protesting against this upcoming dam for more than a decade now. After many a round of brutal repression and forceful land acquisition, the State has now declared the ‘final war’ against its own people.

On 29 April 2013, more than 2000 people were holding ground in opposition to the dam project. Early in the morning, 10 platoons of police force cracked down on the peaceful protesters. They started beating people mercilessly, without any provocation. They dragged women, clamped their feet with heavy boots, and tried to lynch Amitabh Patra, a filmmaker, who was filming the excesses first hand. The policemen, who appeared to be drunk, behaved like hired goons of some mafia outfit.

The police arrested 16 people, including Amitabh Patra and Lenin Kumar, editor of Nisan. Amitabh is still struggling for life with severe head injuries.

As the police unleashed this terror, they did not allow any media persons in, expect one channel — their chosen one. While they smashed Amitabh’s head and camera, they forcibly blocked our camera so that we could not shoot further.




Invitation-International Uranium Film Festival, Chennai @5feb


WHAT: Festival of international documentaries, short films and
animation filmcovering uranium mining, nuclear researchweapons,
and power plants
 and nuclear waste. Discussions led by feature
filmmakers and prominent intellectuals.

WHEN: Film Fest on February 5-6, 2013.
9.30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Workshop on documentary
 led by Alphonse Roy and R. Revathi
on 7 February
(9.30 a.m. to 1.30 p.m.)

WHERE: Asian College of Journalism
2nd Main Road, Taramani (Near Indira Nagar MRTS
Behind MS Swaminathan Research Foundation)

Organised by:
Chennai Solidarity Group for Koodankulam Struggle
Poovulagin Nanbargal

Curated by two Brazilian film makers, the widely travelled international film festival, explores the entire nuclear life cycle — from the mining of uranium to disposal of radioactive wastes. Choosing from more than 50 documentaries and animation films, the Chennai festival brings to viewers 20 films over a two-day period. Thefestival is geared towards engendering a more informed debate on these issues.



Chronology of Communication- Anurag Kashyap and Shilpa Munikempanna on 12.12.12 #kracktivism


Pic courtesy- R ajeev bhatt

The email exchange between Shilpa Munikempanna, Anurag Kashyap and representatives of Large Short Films and Showhouse can be consulted here  Email, the email exhanges are from September 5th 2012, Nov 23rd 2012 . According to  Shilpa  Munikempanna, a  legal notice was sent to Omer Haider, MD Showhouse and Abhijit Das, CH Large short films invoking arbitration based on unfair dismissal, unpaid dues and questioning the legal ground of the agreement signed, on 3rd December 2012 through her lawyer. A petition was also filed in the Mysore High Court on 5th December but due to the boycott by lawyers, Bandh in Mysore she was  unable to proceed any further and stop them from using her  film and paying her dues.The petition  is posted for hearing on December 15th, 2012 .

Shilpa Munikempanna says 

The open letter was the last resort otherwise I would have very much liked to have done this quietly, this ugliness is not something that provides jouissance.

Kracktivist clarifies 

 Shilpa did not get her dues before the letter was posted, the open letter to Anurag Kashyap  on project 12.12.12. was posted at 10.40am ,Dec 11th, 2012 here, Shilpa got her money at 1230 pm .Dec 11, 2012 

Anurag Kashyap sent the reply to me by email here it is –

The Last Act: To the 12th director who chose to disappear

In the light of all the accusations that Shilpa has chosen to make in the “Open Letter”, we would like to state the process we went through in this journey to The Last Act.

We had opened a “Contest” for Project 121212. It was not a commission made to anybody. Everybody was working for the brand Royal Stag Mega Movies. We created this platform for Large Short Films. We have showcased and promoted more than 80 short filmmakers in the past 3 months. We have premiered their films, produced independent films and promoted them on our site, with the brand’s promotional budget without any revenue stream from these films whatsoever. Anurag Kashyap, Sudhir Mishra and Showhouse had been commissioned a job to create and promote independent short films.

When we announced Project 121212, we got more than 600 showreels from across India. Anurag, Sudhir and Chakri chose 52 film makers from that list. Finally the 12 were chosen from there. Shilpa was the only one woman to be chosen in the final 12. So what is her grudge? Should we have a quota in such contests? Or should we apologise for choosing her? Or she is upset that she was chosen in the first place amongst all the men? We don’t understand the point.

Then the 12 filmmakers were sent a plot written by Anurag Kashyap. This seed plot was sent to all the 12 filmmakers with the contract. Yes… the contract stated that the filmmakers could not coordinate with each other. Shilpa has a grudge with that too. But if she did have a problem with that, why didn’t she voice that, when she signed the contract?

We promised Rs 75,000 to all the filmmakers for making a 10 minute film. Isn’t it fair that an advance is paid and the balance is paid on delivery? Isn’t that how the whole industry works? Or any industry for that matter? So we paid Rs 30000 to each filmmaker as an advance. The balance to be paid after the film was delivered to our satisfaction… because this is a contest. And we haven’t commissioned an independent individual short film. It has to fit into the larger story.

Each filmmaker, including Shilpa had signed a contract, which categorically mentioned all these terms and conditions. A filmmaker from Bengaluru was shortlisted as the top 12 but opted out on day 1 as he felt he could not participate under such conditions. We accepted his resignation and appointed the next in the shortlist. If she had a problem with the terms and conditions of payment, why didn’t she choose to opt out? Why did she sign the contract? What was the carrot? We were transparent from the beginning.

Once the scripts came to us, we had to make changes in all the scripts to match it to the climax, which Asmit was directing. These changes were sent to all the filmmakers with the entire script. So Shilpa knew the changes she had to make to fit into the larger picture, because this wasn’t a stand-alone short film.

When we received the films after the shoot and edit, we matched it to the shooting script. 3 scripts had deviated from the original script. Shilpa’s was one of them.

On 21st November:

We wrote to all the 3 filmmakers about the changes that need to be made to be part of the collaborative project. Apart from Shilpa, both the other filmmakers agreed to the changes, we discussed and finally added some portions to the film. They got the same time to make the changes that the others got. But she got back and said that she didn’t have time to shoot the additional portions.

On 22nd November:

We offered to shoot her portions that were required to complete the film.

On 23rd November 2012:

Shilpa got back to us through an SMS where she sent her actor’s number and the contact for the location in Bangalore where she shot, and gave us the permission to shoot. Interestingly, all the filmmakers were supposed to base their stories in the city they were chosen from. Varun Chowdhury shot in Hisar. Kabir shot in Chandigarh. Anurag Goswami shot in Lucknow. Tathagata shot in Kolkata. But guess what? Shilpa is from Mysore but shot her film in Bengaluru. But then there was no legal binding so we couldn’t say anything.

On 22nd November:

As per our discussion with Shilpa, we spoke to her actor and her location to organize a shoot in Bengaluru.

On 23rd November:

A day later we got a mail from Shilpa telling us that she didn’t want to be part of this project as we were making changes in her script. But even in her mail, she asked if she would get paid even if we didn’t use her film. Obviously, the contract didn’t allow us to pay her if she didn’t complete the film. So is it wrong a reject a film based on quality in a competition? Or even after signing the agreement are we supposed to accept the film even if it doesn’t fit into the larger picture? No one is acting God in this. We are just playing by the rules. Everybody was doing that, including the other 11 film makers.

Here is an excerpt from her mail:

“If you want to reject my work please let me know.

If you want to shoot and add a prelude to my work please let me know.

If you want to not pay me or pay me please let me know.”

While we went ahead and changed our plan to get in the 12th director, everything went on peacefully till Shilpa sent is a legal letter to invoke the arbitration clause.

The legal letter reached us on: December 1st, 2012

She waited for almost a week before she us the letter. Surprisingly, it was the same time when we announced the theatrical release of “The Last Act”.

We took a couple of days to consult our lawyers and got back to her yesterday with an offer to pay her the balance Rs 45000 and end the matter as we had already gone ahead with the film without using her segment.

We spoke to her lawyers on 10th December afternoon and decided that we would pay Rs 45000 and waive off any rights on our copyrights to her film. It was silly on our part… why would we pay her the full amount and still not acquire the rights? Then what are we paying her for? Secondly, she wrote in her legal notice that she spent more than 1 lac for the production of her film. She knew from day 1 and she had only Rs 75000 to work with. If she over shoots her own budget, who should be penalized for it? The producers or the director? Or is that also our fault?

We spoke to her lawyer and they said we should increase our payment to her by Rs 5000. To cover her legal expenses. So she “threatens” to sue us. A day before the release (haven’t we heard that before?) and then wants us to pay for her expenses. And again, we complied. This morning, we paid her Rs 45000 (after TDS) and Rs 5000 (For her lawyers… who does that?) Her lawyers sent us a letter last night, stating that if we pay them before 12 noon, they won’t sue us!! We paid her this morning. Then she posted the “Open Letter to Anurag Kashyap”. After getting paid. Is that legal?

An excerpt from her lawyer’s last mail to us after we have paid Shilpa in full despite not using her film in “The Last Act”. So we have paid. We hand over the copyright. What else now?

Dear Mr.Das,


Thank you and Showhouse for your cooperation and reimbursing the expenses.


However in furtherance of the legal communication sent to you yesterday, kindly acknowledge that Showhouse has no copyright on the film “Sleep” directed by Shilpa. Pls also dispatch a hard copy of this letter to Ms.Shilpa’s postal address. 


Only once you do the same we will be in a position to withdraw our application before the courts in Karnataka. 


After withdrawing the same, we will send you a scanned copy of the order sheet. 


Best Regards



Now she is mocking Royal Stag Mega Movies LSF, Showhouse, Anurag Kashyap, Abhijit Das and Asmit Pathare.

She is mocking Anurag who was generous enough to offer her something this morning. He told her (through Abhijit) that though her film can’t be part of the collaborative feature film, LSF will release her film individually. We offered to fly her down tomorrow for the premiere and make that announcement to the media. We wanted to appreciate her film even before she posted the “Open Letter”… No Shilpa, we were trying to be fair. Unlike what you said in your last mail… we didn’t malign you one bit. You did that. We didn’t even announce that your film wasn’t accepted. We graciously moved on.

Shilpa asked Abhijit not to call her directly. We should speak to her lawyers. And that she doesn’t want anything to do with LSF or Anurag Kashyap. So we spoke to her lawyers and informed them about the “Open Letter”.

So here we are:

–          We paid Shilpa her entire amount and some more for her legal expenses. For a product she didn’t deliver.

–          She has also retained the copyright for her film after graciously accepting the payment (she has stated this in her blog herself. Guess that’s legal.)

–          She has breached a contract by announcing in public before the release.

This is her mail to us, after she had already published her “Open Letter” on the internet. And hoped that nobody would read it? So what was the point? She just wanted money for work she hadn’t delivered? So she withdrew the case on the payment? So she doesn’t feel so strongly about the female inequality anymore? Or that got solved the moment we paid up? What about the integrity of not being part of an unfair project? It becomes ethical on a payment of Rs 75000? That’s a pretty flimsy stand to take after writing an “Open Letter to Anurag Kashyap”. One could have just asked for the money.


———- Forwarded message ———-

From: Shilpa Munikempanna ‪<>

Date: Tue, Dec 11, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Subject: Re: Open letter to Anurag Kashyap




Dear Sir/ Madam, 


Today morning the Large Short films and Showhouse have approached me and agreed to reimburse the expenses. They have paid the reimbursement today and also have agreed to assign all the copyrights to me.


Thus I do not want you to publish the attachment “open letter to Anurag Kashyap” as the Mr.Anurag Kashyap and LSF along with Showhouse has already reimbursed me today and has agreed to assign the copyrights. Though I am yet to receive a confirmation email, I do not want this letter to be published any more.





Below is the petition in court


ARBITRATION APPLICATION NO.                            OF 2012

Shilpa Munikempana                                                   )

Mysore                                                     )

Karnataka                                                                   )      … APPLICANT


1. Showhouse Event Management Private Limited     )

a Company incorporated under the                          )

laws of India, having its registered office at            )

Dettinners Compound 126, SV Road                      )

Jogeshwari (W), Mumbai – 400102                          )

Represented by its Managing Director                     )

2. Largeshortfilms                                                         )

Having office at Detinners Compound                     )

126, SV Road                                                            )

Jogeshwari (W)                                                         )

Mumbai – 400102                                                     )

Represented by Managing Director                          )

Mr.Abhijeet Das                                                        )…RESPONDENTS


The Applicant most respectfully submits as follows

  1.  The address of the Applicant and Respondents are as mentioned in the causetitle above. The Applicant may also be served with all communications, summons etc through their counsels M/s Common Law Chambers and Shri Umesh Advocate having its office at ________________________________________________.
  2. Applicant is a film maker focusing mostly on short filmmaking. Respondent No.1 is a company engaged in organizing events and shows. Respondent No.2 is an initiative of Respondent No.1 who has prestigious directors in their core team and was founded and managed by Shri Abhijit Das to provide a platform to short film makers to release their films.
  3. The Applicant has several works amongst which one famous work of the Applicant is her film “Kaveri” which won the best short film award in (IDSFFR 2011) and thereafter won the best Asian Short Film at Aguilar Film Festival, Spain. The said film was also premiered in Kiev International Film Festival, Ukraine. She is currently actively working with IAWRT in their festival “our lives to live..” by women film makers about gender and violence.
  4.  Respondent Nos.1 and 2 were desirous of making a film 12.12.12 which is a collaboration of 12 short films. The Respondents invited film directors to participate in the selection process which commenced on 29th July 2012 and ended on 16th August 2012 with the submission of showreels of each film maker. The Respondents have Royal Stag Mega Movies as their chief sponsor as well as most eminent film directors viz Shri. Anurag Kashyap, Asmith Pathare, Sudhir Chakri in its core team to ensure visibility, publicity and ensure a steady revenue stream for the production of 12.12.12 a collaboration of 12 short films. Hereto annexed and  Annexure “A” is a copy of the press clipping of the proposed production of the short film series.
  5. The Applicant was first shortlisted for the 50 best Directors in August and thereafter on 5th September, 2012 the Applicant qualified as one of the 12 best directors who was chosen to contribute one short film to the collaborative films venture 12.12.12. Hereto annexed and  Annexure “B” is a copy of the snap shot of the 50 shortlisted names of directors including the Applicant’s name on Respondent No.2’s website  The Applicant states that the collaborative film initiative 12.12.12’s exact submission deadline details were available on Respondent No.2’s website Hereto annexed and  Annexure “C” is a true copy of details of the collaboration from the website of Respondent No.2.
  6. Thereafter the Applicant received a confirmation email congratulating the Applicant for being chosen one among the 12 directors from Shri Anurag Kashyap on behalf of Large Short Films. The said email also mentioned about the premier of 12.12.12 events and also made a mention that Shri Kashyap would be  meeting the Applicant. Hereto annexed and  Annexure “D” is a copy of the email dated 5th September from Shri Kashyap to the Applicant.
  7. It is submitted that the Applicant was overwhelmed and extremely enthusiastic to receive this opportunity and commenced the next stage of contributing the script before 24th September, 2012. The Applicant sent two scripts one for the movie “Sleep” and the other for the film “Ashes”. The Respondents accepted the script for the movie “Sleep” and gave the Applicant specific dates of delivery and deadlines, asking the Applicant to finally shoot the movie based on the said script. The emails dated _______ wherein the said scripts were submitted and thereafter accepted by the Respondents are produced as Annexure “E”, “E1” “E2”, collectively.
  1. The Respondents also issued a letter of participation to the Applicant dated 5th October, 2012 wherein the Respondents clearly stated that

we promise to pay you Rs.75,000/- immediately after you deliver your segment of the film. So you will be paid the full amount much before the release of the film.”

Further the Respondent No.1 and the Applicant entered into an Agreement dated 2nd October, 2012 stipulating the exact terms and conditions on which the Applicant was to shoot the film specifically for the Respondent’s collaboration. Hereto annexed and  Annexure “F” is a copy of the Agreement dated 2nd October 2012 and  and annexed as Annexure “G” is a copy of the email dated 5th October 2012 confirming the Applicant’s participation in the Respondent’s collaboration.

8.         On the basis of the Agreement entered into between parties and the confirmation by email dated 5th October 2012, the Applicant went ahead with the film shooting preparation and incurred substantial expenditure of approximately Rs.1 lakh on shooting the film. Hereto annexed and  Annexure “H” is a breakup of the production expenses incurred by the Applicant and  and annexed as Annexure ‘I” are details of hours spent at different sites by Applicant to shoot the film.  The Applicant states that she received an advance of Rs.30,000/- from the Respondents towards the making of the film “Sleep” and the same was given as an exception as the Respondent clearly stated in its email that they liked the Plaintiff’s work.

9.         The Applicant completed the shooting by 30th October, 2012 in accordance with the timeline provided by the Respondents and thereafter sent the footage and the final film to the Respondents on 3rd  November, 2012. As required by the Respondent, the Applicant also sent the invoice for the balance production expense along with the final film DVD on 3rd November, 2012. The final film “Sleep” had reached the Respondents within the deadline specified by them. The Applicant did not receive any communication from the Respondents till 12th November, 2012 which was the deadline for final edit of each film maker mentioned hereinabove. Thus the Applicant was under the bonafide and honest impression that her film was accepted and requested the Respondent to disburse the balance payment of Rs.45,000/- on 16th  November, 2012.  The Respondents confirmed on the same day that the payments are being processed. An extract of the email dated 16th November 2012 is produced herein below:

            “invoices just got signed today as signing authorities were travelling. Will take a week I am guessing. Will be presenting the invoices tomorrow to the accounts for processing.”

A copy of the email dated 3rd November 2012 along with final invoice dispatched on 3rd November 2012 and the correspondence on 16th November  2012 is produced as Annexure “J”.

  1. The Applicant was shocked and surprised to learn from the actor whom she had engaged to shoot the film “Sleep” that the Respondents are re-shooting some scenes of the movie.  The Applicant at this time sought a clarification from the Respondents as to the final status of the film and if the balance invoiced amount will be cleared as the Applicant had borrowed money to meet the expenses of the production of the film as contracted with the Respondents.
  2. The Applicant states that the Respondent sent an email asking the Applicant to re-shoot 6-7 scenes of the film  on 21st November 2012 night, this requirement of the Respondent at this stage of the collaboration wherein the script would substantially be modified came as a surprise to the Applicant.  The Applicant states that the script sent by the Applicant on 24 September, 2012 was approved by the Respondent’s on 3rd October, 2012 jointly. The Applicant had certain ideas and emotions about euthanasia which she clearly manifested in the script sent on 24 September and thereafter in the shootings. The revision suggested by the Respondents completely diluted the script shared by the Applicant which was already approved by the Respondents themselves. Further, this time for modification of the script and re-shooting the scenes was at an extremely short notice. The Applicant states that logistically the Respondent’s requirement for further shootings vide email sent on the night of 21st November, 2012 involved reserving a specific location which was at a great expense, recalling the actor and actresses who are not available for long periods and arranging the entire crew once again and getting the specific camera on which the Applicant would have to pay a large deposit and rent. The Applicant states that without receiving the amounts raised on the Respondents by her in her balance invoice issued on 3rd November, 2012, the Applicant was not in a position to shoot and deliver the 7 scenes as requested in a span of 3 days.
  3. The Applicant provided the Respondent with certain alternate ideas to link the short film “Sleep” with the larger collaborative venture. A copy of the emails in connection with these suggestions is annexed collectively as Annexure “ K”.
  4. On 20th November, 2012, the Applicant learnt that the Respondents are using the video “Sleep” but changing few important scenes which complete dilutes the script sent by the Applicant to the Respondent’s on 24th September 2012 and was deeply hurt to learn that her creative work was being tampered without even informing her that changes were being made or giving her sufficient time or resources to re-shoot the scenes herself. The Applicant immediately wrote to the Respondent opposing use of the scenes of the film shot by her. Hereto annexed Annexure “L” is a copy of the email dated 23rd November, 2012 addressed by the Applicant to the Respondent.
  5. The Applicant was shocked to receive an email dated 24th November 2012 from the Respondent severing all relations with the Applicant and stated that on 24th November 2012 night they have rejected the movie “Sleep”. An extract of the said email is as follows:

we will not use your story or film in this project…we will not be paying the balance production money to you. It is unfortunate this collaboration could not work out.”

  1. The Applicant states that this action of the Respondent has shocked the Applicant, caused mental agony and loss of dignity to the Applicant among her peers in the industry. The Applicant states that the Respondents have turned a complete blind eye to the Applicant’s plight both financially as well as professionally. The Applicant has taken a loan to invest in the making of the film and completed the film within the stipulated time line.  Hereto annexed and  Annexure “M” is a copy of the email dated 24th November, 2012 addressed by the Respondents to the Applicant. The Applicant has invoked the arbitration clause 29 of the Agreement and sent an invocation of arbitration dated 3rd December, 2012. A copy of the letter along with dispatch receipt is produced as Annexure “M1”.
  2. The Applicant states that the Respondents have individually and collectively displayed the images of the film “Sleep” in their promotional materials for the collaboration 12.12.12. Hereto annexed and  Annexure “N” is a  copy of the print out from the Respondents website still showing the Applicant’s film as a part of their promotional materials for the 12.12.12 collaborative film venture
  3. The Applicant is deeply agonized and shocked that the Respondents continue to use a few snapshots of the video “Sleep” which are still posted on the Respondent’s promotional websites. Further, the Applicant has reliably learnt that the Respondents are using the contents of the film “Sleep” to make another film by tampering with the original story line and thereby causing loss to the Applicant’s creative work and originality of the work which was sent to them for launch in the 12.12.12 collaboration.
  4. The Applicant states that these actions of the Respondents are a gross violation of the Applicant’s moral right, her rights to protect the integrity of her creative work and to acknowledge the real creator of the film in whom copyright in the said film vests. The Applicant is an upcoming film maker in South India and has received several international recognition for her previous films and is presently involved in several documentary productions taking a pro-human rights stance.
  5. The Applicant states that the actions of the Respondents are deliberate and done in a manner to cause professional harm and mental harassment to the Applicant as well as loss of reputation. The Applicant had since 2nd October, 2012 when her script was approved has spent more than 4 days in reviewing the location, 1 week in identifying the actors and actress and doing an audition in connection to the same another 1 week in developing the story board, and 3 days conducting the rehearsals. Thereafter on 25th and 26th October, 2012 she was engaged with shooting the film from 6 am in the morning to 8 pm at night. Post the shooting, the Applicant since 27th October, 2012 dedicated time to post production editing till 3rd November, 2012. In addition to the above the Applicant has borrowed money and incurred the expenses on the making of the film after being shortlisted as one of the 12 Directors invited to contribute to the Short Film collaboration. The Applicant states that the Respondent has sought to reject her film without any valid basis on mid night of 24 November, 2012 without any prior intimation or justifiable reasons.
  6. The Applicant submits that there is genuine belief that the Respondents are using shots from her film “Sleep” and adding scenes or deleting scenes without informing her. Further the Respondents are going on full swing to make these changes to the film “Sleep” without the Applicant’s prior permission and is going to release the same in their international premier and film release of 12.12.12 on 12 December, 2012 in Mumbai.
  7. It is submitted that the Respondents are not entitled to utilize the copyrightable material of the Applicant without her permission and without having made complete payment towards production cost for the same to the Applicant. The Applicant states that these actions of the Respondent clearly indicates that the Respondents are attempting to extract unlawful gain from the ground work and creative output of the Applicant. The alleged requirement for shooting further sequences is clearly an afterthought and has been communicated to the Applicant after having confirmed that she would receive payment. The aforesaid sequence of events clearly indicates that the Respondents were satisfied with the movie produced by the Applicant and that, upon being so satisfied, had agreed to make payments to her. Additionally, the deadline for final edits of each film was set at 12th November, 2012. The Respondents approached the Applicant for further shooting at a belated stage on or about 22nd November, 2012, i.e. much after November 12 and without any prior notice or intimation whatsoever, which clearly indicates that the Respondents have acted beyond the terms of the contract.  The Respondents have acted in an arbitrary, highhanded and illegal manner and have clearly attempted to resile from their contractual obligations. The Respondents ought not to be permitted to misuse the Applicant’s copyrighted works, especially without making payment to her. The Respondents have not acted in terms of the agreement and are consequently, not entitled to any rights and benefits thereunder.
  8. The Applicant has received an email dated November 24, 2012 that her movie ‘Sleep’ will not be utilized by the Respondents. However, the Respondents have, even thereafter, continued to use the parts of ‘Sleep’ in their website and promotional materials and initiatives. The Respondents ought to be restrained from making any use of the copyrighted works of the Applicant.
  9. The Applicant has a good prima facie case. The Applicant will be put to enormous prejudice if the interim reliefs as prayed for are not granted. Whereas the Respondents will not suffer similar prejudice or hardship. Balance of convenience is in favour of the Applicant. The reliefs prayed for herein are in aid of arbitration that will be initiated by the Applicant against the Respondents.
    1. It is submitted that no loss or inconvenience will be caused to the Respondents if an order of injunction is passed restraining the Respondent from using any part of the script or the videos already shot by the Applicant in her film “Sleep” till the adjudication of the dispute.
    2. The Applicant states that she has invoked arbitration under Clause 29 of the Agreement between the Respondent and the Applicant. Clause 29 of the Agreement is extracted as follows:

            “Any dispute or differences arising out of or pertaining to this Agreement shall be referred to a sole arbitrator appointed by the Producer. Such arbitration proceedings shall be conducted in English at Delhi and/or Mumbai.”

24.       It is submitted that there are no suits or proceedings pending between the Applicant and Respondent in respect of the film “Sleep” and its script and on the same cause of action before any other forum or courts. The Applicants state that the balance of convenience for the grant of interim reliefs lies heavily in favour of the Applicants.

25.       Cause of Action: The entire cause of action has arisen within the jurisdiction of this Hon’ble Court. The Petitioner is residing in Mysore and have signed and sent the agreement dated 3 October, 2012 from Mysore by courier and was executed in couterparts. The Respondent have their Branch office in Bangalore. The agreement was terminated by an email received in Mysore. Further, the 12.12.12 collaborative project is to be released by way of an “online premier” where the movie will be uploaded in the website and all collaborating websites with Respondent and can be viewed by any one from any part of the country (including Karnataka). Thus this Court has the jurisdiction from restraining the Respondent from doing the uploading Applicant’s video in the website.  Section 2 (e) read with Section 42 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act, 1996. Hence, this Hon’ble Court has jurisdiction to entertain this Petition.

26.       Limitation: The Applicant states that there is no delay in filing the present Application and same is within the limitation period.

27.       Valuation: The Applicants have paid fixed Court fees of Rs.__00/-. In view of the above, the Applicants humbly pray that:

(a)       a temporary order of injuction restrainin Respondent No.1 and No.2 and its servants officers or agents from using in any manner whatsoever including altering, displaying, transferring, telecasting or uploading in any manner the script of the film “Sleep” and the video of the movie “Sleep” including all the footages and shots ancillary to main film.

(b)       restrain the Respondents collectively from interfering with or obstructing the use of the name of the Applicant with her film “Sleep”

(c)     ad interim exparte relief in terms of prayer (a). (d) For costs arising in connection to filing the present application.

(e)       for such further and other reliefs as the nature and circumstances of the case may require.

Date     / December, 2012                                                    Advocate for Applicant

                   V  E  R  I  F  I  C  A  T  I  O  N

           I, Shilpa Munikempana, the Applicant, abovenamed do hereby solemnly state and declare that what is stated in paragraphs Nos.  to    of the above petition is true to my own knowledge, and what is stated in paragraphs Nos.    to   is based on information, belief and legal advice, which I believe to be true.

Solemnly declared at Mysore,    )

This      day of December, 2012                    )



Advocates for the Applicant

An Open Letter to Anurag Kashyap and his 12.12.12 project. #kractivism




( Within 3 hours after putting this post- picture abhi baak hai dost :-P)

“Shilpa has been refunded the expenses she incurred on making the film and Showhouse’s Large Short Films has promised to give her copyright over her work soon subsequent to the circulation of the open letter. She is waiting for it in writing. She stands by the issues she raised and thanks everyone for the immense kind support” Thanks Kamayani this would not have been possible without you. You are really awesome!

I am a Mysore based woman filmmaker who was chosen by you to be part of the Mega Movies project 12.12.12 executed by Showhouse Entertainment’s Large Short Films Wing. I am writing this open letter because I think public discourse is important given that over the years you have come to occupy such an important space within what you call ‘independent cinema’.

Also no one from the company that you endorse, as well as you, thinks it is important to have a dialogue with me about unpaid wages, disrespect and unfair dismissal which has caused me tremendous amount of financial, emotional stress. There is also a much touted save indie cinema doing the rounds and what it fails to add to the discourse (not surprising going by the kind of signatories it claims) is what I want to talk about. Changing the look of how you produce cinema and being backed by big studio capital isn’t really independent. I think it is important to bring this into the public domain as the silences around working practices result in the perpetuation of exploitative systems and weed out filmmakers based on their class, caste, gender, religion and language.

It was absolutely no surprise when I saw that the list of 12 directors included no woman. So apparently out of 600 entries only I, the sole woman, made it to the shortlist and because I decided to speak up and not be quiet about how my film was going to tortured and beaten into becoming the kind of objects that you seem to grant your blessings to, 12.12.12 is now officially an all male production.

I bring your notice to this because the tone of the company with regard to objections I raised has been patronising, condescending and dismissive. Well meaning friends and critics will tell me that’s how it works, that’s the industry,
the industry that works on free labour, meant for those who have the money to afford the time to chase dreams. It’s not meant for women like me who have no big daddies or brothers or husbands supporting them. It isn’t meant for women
like me who choose to work in a language other than Hindi and it definitely isn’t meant for women like me who don’t know how to waddle along consenting to practices that make people like you and the companies you endorse just richer
on the back of such exploitative practices.

You sent me an email stipulating that I would not be in touch with any of the other 11 directors (an effective way I must say to curb dissent and this goes by the name of being collaborative!) The contract also stipulated that I would be paid once I handed over the film contrary to what the rules on the contest page initially stated wherein I was supposed to have been given the money before Ivmade the film. This I was informed after having worked a full month on the project. I did sign it and I take full responsibility for that sign because you were the carrot dangled to me, the one ruling the roost in the film festival circuit and of course the Indian public funding circuit, what seemed like the only way to make one’s film. And since you must have been paid handsomely to be the carrot, I only ask that you own up to the full responsibility of it and be accountable to the carrot desirers you create.

After insisting that I get paid at least half I went ahead, after funds were released, and borrowed money to complete it. I hand over the film and fulfil my contractual obligations and then am bullied into changing and reshooting it for a mistake made by Asmit Pathare (Project director not the 12th discovery – check the shortlist!) and Abhijit Das (the godfather of short films in the making). So I naturally said no. You must understand how difficult it is for a director to hurt their stories? It’s kind of like being okay with Abhijit Das (Creative head of Largeshortfilms) adding on a scene where Manoj Bajpai spouts Feminist Marxist dialogues in Gangs of Wasseypur and without telling you! Wouldn’t really fit with the ethos of the film no? Your company even told me that since I do not have the resources I cannot be involved in the reshoot. At such a juncture I asked you not to use my film if I was not being reimbursed and no, you go ahead and use it. The matchbox still from my film is still up on the company’s website.

In a country with absolutely zilch funding for independent films you exploit the hopes of thousands of aspirants. You reiterate a certain way of working which accommodates only a certain type of filmmaker. This in my world is called cheating, it’s called immoral and it’s called unfair. In your world all this is grey, this hijacking that you do of a space that has seen so much struggle and such amazing cinema, this hijacking of language – calling it collaborative when it’s more dictatorial, this hijacking of image, of new film waves, of new ways of working. One of the most exciting things about globalised capitalism’s current avatar (as Hardt and Negri will tell you) is that even though it creates systems like you it also provides for ruptures like me.

Before you come back with a reply to this I ask you to re‐look at emails that you sent me and words you relayed to me through the company about my filmmaking. Everything that I have said is backed by evidence (I know too well
how important that is) I know this open dissent will cost me. I’m not naïve not to understand as to how you rule visibilities around distribution and production but I will walk away knowing that I have spoken and that this is just the beginning not the end of the road for me. For those of you reading this I understand that within the larger framework of what we call injustice in this country this is nothing but when we start to look at continuums everything does matter and support for this would really help not just me but for all those who are engaged in changing the way images speak.

From the 12th director who so mysteriously disappeared
Shilpa Munikempanna

contact- 9611843981

Shyam Benegal and Gul Panag still figure as Judges in Vedanta’s Creating Happiness ” Competition”

  Before this page is censored, here is snap shot

Before this page is censored, here is snap shot

Amazing, there is a limit  to which you can lie, or infact hide the truth ??

 Is it  ???

 No, not for  Ogilvy and Mather and Vedanta

They have clearly remained SILENT about the Jury , very slyly 🙂

After Reading my open letter , Mr Shyam Benegal, who was in the jury of your competition withdrew knowing that the Creating Happiness is just Vedanta PR exercise to promote themselves. The other jury Member Gul Panag informed me on twitter that she withdrew precisely for the same reason on Feb 12th 2012.

Now, according to news item reported in, on 18th March 2012, just two days before the Vedanta’s ” Creating Happiness” is going to end, it still says the films are judges by gul panag an shyam Benegal. Also,  they have not officially made an announcement that jury has withdrean they just deleted the names of gul panag and shyam benegal first from jury page on the and now youc cant even see a jury page at all as, its only  Piyush Pandey who is judging the competition or maybe the Vedanta employees themeselves we dont know 🙂 It all hidden

So here is the link of news item  and  I quote

Thitry-eight more films have been created by student filmmakers from around India as part of the campaign and have been uploaded on YouTube for public voting until March 20, 2012. The films will be judged by a jury that includes Piyush Pandey, Shyam Benegal and Gul Panag. Each team has also been given ‘cinema tickets’ for their films, inviting people to view the films on YouTube and vote.

Read full story here

Annie Zaidi: The artists who took a stand

English: Photograph of Shyam Benegal in his of...

Image via Wikipedia

One of life’s minor joys is finding someone to admire.
Not many heroes are left to us, thanks to the mainstream press ignoring instances of quiet, sustained courage, and our own cynicism. I’m sometimes annoyed at ‘positive’ news that translates into interviews with students who have managed high scores, or interviews with successful businessmen or creative professionals. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but there’s a difference between success and heroism.

We rarely hear about those who take a stand — unless they end up being jailed or tortured or killed for it. And then we begin to wonder if there is anybody at all who takes a stand, and whether it is worth it. And if nobody does, why should we?

So I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Shyam Benegal and Gul Panag had withdrawn from the jury of a filmmaking competition organised by Vedanta. I looked it up online and saw that lucrative prizes were being offered to media students. But the thing is, Vedanta’s money is not made through films. It is made through mining, mostly in rural areas and forests, and a lot of Vedanta’s activities and plans are protested by those who must suffer the consequences.

Vedanta wanted to create happiness, not by tackling pollution but through a film competition. It chose jurors like Shyam Benegal, Gul Panag and Piyush Pandey. Last I checked on their website, only Pandey’s name remained on the list. And I feel relieved, not because I want to see Vedanta criticised, but simply because I get hungry for the lack of an artist whom I can also admire as a person.

Benegal has long been a hero for many of us who like his artistic vision, and respect his engagement with the political, moral and social forces shaping the country. After lawyer-activist Kamayani  Bali Mahabal wrote an open letter on her blog, telling him about Vedanta’s reluctance to take responsibility for pollution and displacement, a friend of Benegal’s left a comment saying that the filmmaker has withdrawn from the jury.

To be honest, I was surprised. I would have understood if he chose to ignore that letter. Every major corporation is devoted to extracting profit from earth, water, air, human labour, and at minimum cost. They all pump money into image management so they come off smelling like roses. Vedanta certainly isn’t the only one. And what would be accomplished if one filmmaker backed out of one tiny contest?…. CONTD…

Read DNA article here


Vedanta’s PR campaign backfires as Bollywood celebs pull out

A bid by British mining giant Vedanta Resources to repair its tarnished international reputation has backfired after two major Bollywood celebrities withdrew from a film competition supposed to show the ‘happiness’ the company creates.

Renowned filmmaker Shyam Benegal and Bollywood actress Gul Panag were both part of a judging panel, which had until the end of this month to pick a winning film out of the 38 submitted.

The films were all shot by ‘budding film-makers’, who were escorted by Vedanta around villages where it has a presence.

The objective of the competition was to show the ‘happiness’ Vedanta brings to local communities where it works.

Vedanta’s reputation was irreversibly damaged when it ignored the rights of the Dongria Kondh tribe, whose sacred mountain it sought to mine for aluminum ore.

Read more here


Happiness Quotient Vedanta’s corporate campaign sparks off a controversy

English: Piyush Pandey

Image via Wikipedia

Buisnessworld , 03 Mar 2012, Prasad Sangameshwaran

The hunter becomes the hunted. Adman Piyush Pandey, known for his anti-smoking campaign and a film on the Bhopal gas tragedy, finds himself at the receiving end of a controversy. At the epicentre is a corporate film, ‘Creating Happiness’, that his agency, Ogilvy, made for Vedanta, the natural resources major that stands accused of human rights violations in tribal areas.

The ad, which features a young girl from Rajasthan who has benefited from Vedanta’s community initiatives, is believed to be the brainchild of Vedanta chief Anil Agarwal’s daughter Priya Agarwal, who works at Ogilvy. The ad would have escaped activists’ radar, but for a competition that Vedanta ran alongside the 90-second ad, inviting young film makers to make films on the company’s social initiatives. Two of the three jury members of the competition — actor-activist Gul Panag and veteran film maker Shyam Benegal — have resigned, claiming that they were unaware of Vedanta’s association with the campaign. And Pandey, the third jury member, has become the target of online activists, who posted ‘spoof’ ads on Facebook, showing Pandey with the caption “I’m faking happiness, are you?” Online activists sent appeals to I&B minister Ambika Soni to prevent the ad from being aired. And a counter competition inviting young film makers to create ‘faking happiness’ ads has been launched. “We are mixing issues that neither me nor the activists are qualified to make a judgement on,” is what Pandey, executive chairman, Ogilvy has to say on the debate.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 12-03-2012)

Read original Article here

I was asked to reply Piyush Pandey’s comment  and I did but was not  carried in the story , so here is my reply

Which issues are being mixed and where ? A clear case of playing with peoples emotions by projecting the messages in a stratigized campaign to fool people into believing what it shows,a documentraish  branding, patronising our history and poverty.It is an aggressive attempt at classical conditioning from a company whose brand recognition has been closely connected to its questionable practices in precisely the kind of tribal areas where this ad claims it is ‘creating happiness’ and just look at the selected jury, Gul Panag and Shyam Benegal, the socially conscious celebrities in the world of cinema, who were actually kept in dark, that its a VEDANTA PR EXCERCISE There is something called professional ethics, I hope Mr Pandey knows that very well, so act of keeping jury in dark was totally unethical . The Films in creating happiness are produced by Vedanta , funded by vedanta, and telling people what great work they are doing, Its like judging own production , and using the filmakers to say what vedanta officials wanted to say, but could not as no onE would have then believd them obviously .

FTII’s only entry withdraws from Vedanta’s Creating happiness

 Kracktivism works, After my first open letter  Shyam Benegal withdrew  from the jury of the Creating Happiness film competition  on Feb 23 , and Gul Panag whow as also on Jury  had pulled out on Feb 12th, leaving just Mr Piyush Pandey on the Jury details here Creating Happiness entries

After my  Second l Open Letter to Piyush Pandey the creator of the Ad, no reply from him , but yes issue of corporate social responsibility and ethics is being discussed, although I was  told by the “Creating happiness ‘ community they reply no one  did, yes i did get some lovely comments from  Vedanta employees on my letter which are here and you can read them in my blog

After my third letter to all the  film makers participating in the creating happiness competition ……..

Film-maker  Gorakshnath Khande, the director of the sole film from FTII that was submitted to the Vedanta ‘Creating Happiness’ Film Competition has decided to withdraw his film!  This is his message on facebook

I have gone through your msg and article also. And I totally agree with you.
 I actually realized it a month ago that they have nothing to do with the film-making, when they decided to choose a winner from maximum views on youtube. All they care about BRANDING and BUILDING A GOODWILL under the name of film-making competition. I already have stopped to spread the word about my film.

Now, I am communicating with them to withdraw the film from that competition.



The FTII  film which was in the competition is ” Wonder Boys

Wonderboys: A Film by FTII, Pune

I have written to Father Fraser head of St Xaveir College also, wherein XIC has two entries namely  The Churn: A Film by XIC, Mumbai
Noor-e-Sehar: A Film by XIC, Mumbai and I am writing to all institutions who are participating. Help me spread the message !!

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