CINTAA objects to producer promoting his film despite non-payment of past dues; approaches actress for help
Sonil Dedhia (MID-DAY; April 11, 2017)

An impending request from the Cine and TV Artists Association [CINTAA] might find Raveena Tandon torn on moral grounds. The actress, who is in the midst of promoting her comeback film, the Anjum Rizvi production 'Maatr', has been asked to halt promotional work over allegations that the producer hasn't paid artistes involved in his previous project – a remake of Sai Paranjpye's 1980s cult comedy, 'Katha'.

The film, which has been in the making for long, is being helmed by Khalid Mohamed, and features Maniesh Paul, Mohammed Zeeshan Ayub and debutante Sharmiela Mandre. As per a complaint registered with CINTAA by actor Chiranjeet Chhabria, the producer, it is alleged, hasn't cleared the dues of the film's cast and crew. Chiranjeet and his son, child-actor Krissh Chhabria, who was the lead actor in this year's National Award-winning Best Children's Film, 'Dhanak', play supporting roles in the film.

Amit Behl, joint secretary of CINTAA, tells mid-day, "Khalidji had told me about the issue around six months ago. At that time, I also found out that a complaint was made by Chiranjeet with our association. A non-co-operation notice was issued by CINTAA against Anjum, who responded with the promise of clearing dues as soon as his next project would kick-off."

Chiranjeet, who filed the complaint in December 2015, argues that he had been assured by the association that Anjum wouldn't be able to make another film till his dues were cleared. "Jointly, my son and I have to be paid Rs 75,000. But till today, we've received no update [on the payment]. Rizvi is promoting his new film in full swing, but he is not bothered about us at all," he says.

Amit decided to approach Raveena after reports of Anjum promoting 'Maatr' were brought to his notice. "On Saturday, Khalidji told me that Rizvi was promoting 'Maatr' on 'The Kapil Sharma Show'. We sent a letter to Raveenaji, who is also our member, and a social activist, asking her to avoid promoting the film as their fellow-actors from the industry are yet to be paid. We have also approached the Indian Motion Pictures Producers' Association [IMPAA], Indian Film and TV Producers Council [IFTPC] and The Film & Television Producers Guild to look into the matter."

Complaints of non-payment of dues have also been received by supporting artistes Simran Gangwani and Bharti Kumaria. It is suggested that Mohamed, veteran Paranjpye and the three lead actors, who have also not been paid in full, have decided to go ahead with their respective projects and not peruse the matter further.

When mid-day reached out to Anjum, he said, "The film hasn't been completed. There is post production work left, so how can the artistes complain of non-payment? If the film had been released and I hadn't cleared their dues, then I would be wrong. I don't want to comment."