‘Felt I had an obligation to speak up’: Sudhanshu Saria on AltBalaji’s controversial His Storyy poster


Sudhanshu Saria, who received the National Film Award for Best Non-Feature Film Direction for Knock Knock Knock, was not too long ago within the information for alleging that AltBalaji had lifted the poster of his film Loev for his or her new sequence His Storyy. In this interview with indianexpress.com, the director will get candid concerning the tasks that he’s presently working on, and the way ‘invisible’ he felt after seeing a poster uncannily related to one in every of his personal works.

Excerpts from the dialog:

First, a love story and now, a thriller. How do you select your tasks?

I have been doing this for some time now, initially as a producer, then as a director and author. And the whole lot, regardless of how large or small it’s, simply all the time takes time. So I am very conscious of that. So if any person approaches me for one thing, I simply know that is going to take up two years of my life. All you are able to do is keep in mind that you’ve got to be enthusiastic about this.

And if I am going to give it that a lot time, it higher have a thesis, a viewpoint and perspective. And it higher be attempting to say one thing helpful which is of some worth to somebody. Everyone has their very own take, however I would have a troublesome time working on one thing that was simply entertaining or a spectacle, although there are such a lot of instances when I have wanted cheering up and I have turned to ‘these’ motion pictures.

What is the importance of profitable a National Award? Does it open extra doorways for you, particularly those which had been inaccessible earlier than?

I am waking up to that now. I am seeing it unfold in actual time. I wasn’t absolutely conscious of it when I acquired the award. I really feel like I simply obtained fortunate. It actually helps you on the times while you doubt your self and you’re feeling you aren’t adequate. Being given such an honour reminds you that your voice issues. I would extremely advocate it (laughs). And as I am attempting to put collectively future tasks, I do really feel that it helps change perceptions. It is a query that I could be higher ready to reply in a few years, however for now, I suppose it (profitable a National Award) can’t damage.


What was your first response while you got here to know that AltBalaji has launched a sequence poster very related to one in every of your works? I learn your tweet stating that you just felt helpless.

That’s what it was. I wrote from the center when I put up that publish on social media. At that point, I couldn’t predict what would occur, if anyone would even discover it. The incontrovertible fact that it met with such overwhelming help made me really feel much less alone, much less invisible and fewer helpless. But sure, when I first noticed it, I positively felt that I am part of this neighborhood, and I shouldn’t be that invisible or insignificant that somebody from my very own business can take my work and rip it off with none hesitation. It felt very bizarre. Everything that adopted made me really feel extra empowered.

I am going to take them at their (AltBalaji) phrase. I am going to consider that it was an unlucky coincidence. All I can hope for now could be that collectively we will do higher.

Also, did you attain out to anybody from the business after the incident occurred?

I didn’t attain out to anybody. Not a single individual. I simply mentioned what I had to say publicly and went about my day. Most of them discovered by way of social media. Some of them had been shocked. I am certain a few of them simply learn it and moved on. I by no means wished to put anybody in an uncomfortable state of affairs. They have relationships to defend. I simply felt I had an obligation to arise for what is true and speak up.

This shouldn’t be the primary time AltBalaji has been accused of plagiarism. What do you suppose must be completed to forestall this in future?

I really feel like all of us with 5 minutes and a few widespread sense can provide you with hundred higher options, proper? Everybody is aware of proper from fallacious. And typically, we preserve doing the fallacious factor as a result of we really feel that there aren’t any penalties.

Did you speak to Ekta Kapoor?

Absolutely not. I don’t suppose I am price her schedule or time. We don’t know one another. We have been in the identical rooms, however we don’t know one another personally. I by no means really aimed this at her. It (the publish) was for Balaji.

You are writing the third season of the acclaimed Netflix sequence Delhi Crime. Do you concentrate on the present’s legacy when sitting down to write its script? How do you retain off the strain?

I am not attempting to take into consideration any of that proper now as a result of I am in the midst of it. I was not concerned within the first or second season, however I am so pleased with the work my colleagues have completed on these two seasons. If something, I need to construct on it. I need to take that baton and run quicker. They obtained a lot proper. The most unbelievable reward of that present is its ensemble solid. I am very joyful they considered me and wished me to take part.

Please inform us a bit about your upcoming challenge with Amazon Prime Video, the place you’re working in collaboration with Nitya Mehra.

It is a younger grownup present. It is a coming-of-age present a couple of group of women set within the mountains. We spent a yr and a half writing the script, and it has turned out extremely effectively. We are preparing for manufacturing now, assuming this Covid insanity ends.


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