Patna Civil court dismisses the stay against the screening of Ketan Mehta’s Manjhi – The Mountain Man
In a relief, to the internationally acclaimed film-maker Ketan Mehta, the Patna civil court has dismissed the petition asking to stay the release of Ketan’s film, Manjhi – The Mountain Man. The court passed the verdict in favour of Ketan Mehta, who can now release his film, Manjhi – The Mountain Man.
A much-relieved Ketan Mehta said, “It’s a global inspiring story with brilliant performances by all the artists. In these cynical times it’s a story of hope, a tribute to the triumph of human spirit. How can any one stop it from reaching out to the people”.
Starring, the rising star of India, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Manjhi – The Mountain Manis based on the amazing real life story of Dashrath Manjhi, a poor man who broke the mountain for love. Set in 1960, the movie tells the inspiring real love story of a poor Shah Jahan. Over 22 years, with just a hammer and a chisel, he carved out a path through a mountain, in memory of his beloved wife who had fallen down while trying to cross it. He did it so that no one else would have to suffer her fate.
Inspired by his story, ace director Ketan Mehta decided to make a film on it. The shooting for the film starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Radhika Apte, was completed in October-November last year on the actual locations in a remote area of Bihar. However after the completion of the shooting, someone in Bihar brought a stay on the release of the film on the ground that, Dashrath Manjhi while on his death bed, in ICU, had put his thumb impression on an agreement, giving away exclusive rights to make a film on his life. While proving that Dashrath Manjhi was not even in Patna on the date of the agreement, Ketan Mehta also argued that Dashrath Manjhi, though a very poor man, was also very famous for his incredible deed and was already a public figure. Thousand of articles have been written about him and dozens of documentary films have been made about him and all this information is in public domain and there can be no copyright on information in public domain.
The court upheld the argument while lifting the stay order and allowing the release of the film. Manjhi – The Mountain Man is a co-production between Maya Movies Pvt. Ltd. and National Film Development Corporation. The movie is co-written and directed by Ketan Mehta and produced by Deepa Sahi and Nina Lath Gupta, with an impressive ensemble cast. The film, Manjhi- The Mountain Man is now ready for release.
Deepa Sahi, the Producer of the film said, “We were shocked to get the notice- even Majhi’s son had no idea about the so called rights being given by the person claiming them! As the counsel said- how can anyone have the “right” to make a film on Gandhiji’s life? You can have the right to a novel- not to a public figure’s life! So the court ruling was in our favour but the case caused a lot of inconvenience”.