Sundeep Bhutoria

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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Big, messy and now murkier

The recently concluded Film Award Bangla ’10 (FAB) affair at Bangkok is getting murkier with allegations and counter allegations flying in fast and thick. Rituparna called up soon after her return from Thailand where she was shooting for a film. She said that the organisers of FAB ’10 had promised her money but did not pay a single penny.
She said that she was given to understand by the organisers wanted the event to be one of the best and requested Rituparna for a Show with her best performance on stage. Accordingly she had arranged for a choreographer, make-up man and other professionals numbering 20 to prepare for the Show. Rituparna also informed me that after they reached Bangkok for a recce and preparations etc., the organisers started bargaining with her on the cost and started pressuring the troupe members in Bangkok to perform the Show without her. She has consulted some lawyers and also talked to some of the police officials on the matter. Further, she called in a press conference at 3 pm to brief the media on the fiasco. Rituparna wanted me to join her at the press conference which I could not.
Whoever is responsible, I feel sad that such an incident took happened in Tollywood. One thing I can vouch for is that Rituparna has attended many of my social functions and other functions on my request where money has never been an issue. Now that a tiff between her and the organisers is on I don’t know where this would lead to but what I feel is that as an artist Rituparna should have asked for something in writing before sending her troupe to Bangkok. Also, as far as money and payment is concerned, the organisers have not paid the bus drivers in Bangkok and one of the drivers had asked a senior artist, whom I don’t want to name, to get down at the middle of the road since he was not paid by the organisers as promised earlier. He even asked for his payment on the spot.
I now feel the Locket (file pic) was right when she told me at the Star Jalsa function of her decision not to go to the program. Yesterday at dinner also she was saying that she smelt something was amiss and that was the reason she backed out.
Today evening I had a Rajasthani dinner at home with some friends along with Shantanu Moitro and Shayan Munshi whom I knew from before as he was cast in a film with Arpita slated for release on 24th June. Though Arpita had told me a lot about him when she was shooting, I met Shayan in person at the Bangkok award function only. I find him a nice person to talk to. As Shantanu has a morning flight to catch, post dinner we discussed our Bangkok experience at length till past midnight.
ess bee

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