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January 19, 2023 11:29 am | Updated 11:29 am IST – BHUBANESWAR
A view of Orissa High Court. File | Photo: Special Arrangement
Taking strong exceptions to plagiarism in the film business, Orissa High Court directed to declare the 31 st Odisha State Film Award, 2019 again in one month as previously selected Odia films were found heavily copied from other language films.
Bobby Islam, a filmmaker, had moved Orissa HC alleging that many of the films that featured in the final selection list for the 31 st Odisha State Film Award, 2019 were remakes of some films made in other languages, which should not have qualified for the awards in the first place.
In the State film award list which was disputed by the petitioner, the film ‘Khusi’ of Taranga Cine Production, which was selected for awards in 5 categories, was alleged to be a remake of a Korean film ‘Hope’ and the film ‘Golmaal Love’ was allegedly plagiarized from a Punjabi film, ‘Carry on Jatta’.
The petitioner had argued that the selection was contrary to the advertisement floated by the Department of Odia Culture for the 31 st Odisha State Film Awards, 2019, which said dubbed or revised or copied or remake version of films were ineligible for entry.
Adjudicating the matter, Orissa HC Justice Dr. S.K. Panigrahi said, “I have personally watched both the films for better understanding of the allegations. After ocular verification of the films, it appears that the two films, such as ‘Khusi’ and ‘Golmal Love’ were heavily inspired from the alleged non-Odia films at least.”
“Considering a comparison of the impugned films with the plot and scenes in the Korean film ‘Hope’ and Punjabi film ‘Carry on Jatta’, it is clear from the plethora of facts, circumstances and stated overlap that the impugned motion films are un-credited remakes of the aforementioned non-Odia films. These films have been manipulated slightly in order to evade the scanner of an uncanny resemblance. Otherwise, the films are scene-by-scene copies of the impugned non-Odia films. The content of the impugned films cannot be called ‘original’ in respect to Orissa Film Award Rules from any angle of judgment,” Justice Panigrahi stated .
“The impugned award list is fraught with blatant irregularities which strike at the heart of state directives of law. The Opposite Parties (Odisha government and others) have been negligent in letting these irregularities be scot-free. The manner in which the impugned films were considered and declared the winners of the prestigious Odia State Cine Awards is a matter of great embarrassment and concern for the Odia cinema and artiste community,” he observed.
Stating that plagiarism in the film business goes unpunished and unregulated by the heedlessness and lack of standards against such practices, the Orissa HC judge said, “a strict system of checks and balances must be implemented in order to support and encourage the triumph of originality in the Odia cine tradition.”
The Orissa HC said the two films should not be considered for any award in the 31 st Odisha State Film Award, 2019, which would be declared in one month. The judge also had world of caution for jury members.
“The Jury should be mindful that their duty is the application of standards of highest quality to the matters of consideration, that the state is an institution of law and not of men,” he remarked in the order.
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