Though ‘iSmart Shankar’ is said to be loosely inspired from the Hollywood film ‘iBoy’, Akash alleges that Puri has plagiarised the movie from his 2016 Tamil film ‘Naan Yaar’.

iSmart Shankar plagiarised from Tamil film Actor Jai Akash accuses Puri Jagannadh
Flix Controversy Tuesday, July 23, 2019 - 16:15

Puri Jagannadh’s iSmart Shankar with Ram Pothineni in the lead, is having a successful run at the Telugu box-office since its release last Thursday. The movie, before its release had made news after Ram was slapped with a fine for smoking in public, while shooting in Charminar. Now, after iSmart Shankar’s release, yet another controversy has sprung up as actor Jai Akash has accused the director of plagiarism.

Alleging that iSmart Shankar is a copy of his 2016 Tamil movie Naan Yaar, Akash has accused Puri Jagannadh of plagiarising the entire movie except for its geographical backdrop. Puri, whose movie iSmart Shankar is said to be loosely inspired from the 2017 Hollywood movie iBoy, is yet to respond to Akash’s allegations.

Speaking to TNM, Akash claims that he realised iSmart Shankar was a direct remake of Naan Yaar when he watched the movie in Chennai last Thursday.

“I was shocked that the movie was very similar to Naan Yaar, for which I had written the script. It was directed by a London-based director N Radha. The plot is completely plagiarised except for the movie’s location. Naan Yaar was shot in London while Puri Jagannadh has localised the script and shot the movie in Hyderabad. I know Puri personally and before filing a complaint with the Tamil Film Producers’ Council, I tried reaching him over phone but it was switched off,” Akash alleges.

Akash says that he then tried reaching Puri Jagannadh through his PRO in Hyderabad. Though the PRO allegedly promised to put him in touch with the director, his phone too was later switched off. “I even sent across documents relating to Naan Yaar and its release in Tamil Nadu to Puri Jagannadh, but he chose to ignore,” he adds.

“I didn’t want to tarnish Puri’s name in public,” Akash claims, “But since he refused to talk, I filed a complaint with the Tamil Film Producers’ Council on Saturday. Puri then responded to the Council saying that iSmart Shankar is a rip-off of the Hollywood film iBoy.”

Akash further says that iBoy is a 2017 film while Naan Yaar was released in 2016. “Both the films have similarities and Naan Yaar was released in English too under the title Mystery,” he adds.

Akash’s main contention is that the Telugu version of Naan Yaar titled Kottagu Unnadu is soon slated for a grand release. “Now who will watch the film? I want Puri Jagannadh to compensate me accordingly and give me a share in the copyright for iSmart Shankar,” Akash says.

He also added that C Kalyan, President of South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce, is looking into the issue.

Jai Akash has acted in many movies in Tamil and Telugu and is famous for his role in the 2001 Telugu movie Anandam for which he won a couple of awards. Akash also won the Nandi award in 2009 for Best Character Artiste for his movie Gorintaku.

TNM reached out to the iSmart Shankar team for a response. However, the PR for the movie said that the unit doesn’t wish to react and called the allegations "baseless".

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