Co-producer of film Animal’ moves Delhi HC seeking stay on OTT release

New Delhi: Cine 1 Studios, a co-producer of Bollywood film Animal’, approached the Delhi High Court on Monday seeking a stay on its release on OTT platforms, digital streaming platforms and its satellite broadcast.

The movie, directed by Sandeep Reddy Vanga, was released in theatres on December 1, 2023 and is set to be released on Over-The-Top (OTT) platform Netflix on January 26.

While Cine 1 Studios Pvt Ltd claimed a breach of agreement and said it was not paid a single penny, defendant and another co-producer Super Cassettes Industries Pvt Ltd contended Rs 2.6 crore was paid to the plaintiff which it did not disclose to the court.

Justice Sanjeev Narula perused the document placed by the defendant about a payment of Rs 2.6 crore to the plaintiff.

On being asked by the judge about the claimed payment, the counsel for Cine 1 Studios said he was not aware of it as the document was not brought to his notice. The lawyer said he will take his client’s instructions and apprise the court.

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The court was told the plaintiff’s counsel will ensure the presence of the authorised signatory of Cine 1 Studios, Murad Khetani, before it on January 18, the next date of hearing.

Senior advocate Sandeep Sethi, representing Cine 1 Studios, said the plaintiff did not get any information about the revenue the film earned, its collection at the box office, the music, satellite or internet rights.

“They (Super Cassettes) have been collecting all the money but I have not been paid a single penny… I have a long relationship with them but they have no respect for the agreement. I had the regard for the relationship and the sanctity of the contract, therefore, I did not rush to court,” he submitted.

The plaint said the two production houses had entered into an agreement to produce the film. Under the agreement, Cine 1 claimed, it had a 35 per cent profit share and was entitled to 35 per cent intellectual property rights in the movie.

The plaint claimed without Cine 1’s approval, Super Cassettes incurred expenses for making/ promoting/ releasing the film, received revenues from the box office sales but did not share the details with it. Super Cassettes also did not pay any money to the plaintiff despite the profit-share agreement. it claimed.

Senior advocate Amit Sibal, representing Super Cassettes, submitted the plaintiff invested no money in the film and all expenses were borne by his client.

Apprising the judge of a document signed between the parties, he contended the plaintiff concealed from the court that on August 2, 2022 it had given up all its intellectual property rights in the film.

“In the amended agreement, he (Cine 1) has deleted the clause where he got 35 per cent of intellectual property right in the film…. All this has been given up for consideration of Rs 2.6 crore for which he raised an invoice,” Sibal said.

He said this critical and material information was concealed from the court.