Popular Malayalam director Jeethu Joseph, who is basking in the success of his latest film Aadhi starring Pranav Mohanlal, has been caught up in a plagiarism row.
A Kerala-based writer has now accused Jeethu of plagiarising his story.
Calling a press meet in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday, VS Jayakumar, editor of Oliver Publications in the city, alleged that director Jeethu had "lifted" a story he had published in 2011.
According to Times of India, the story in question is Jayakumar's 2011 work called Ente Weekend Party (My Weekend Party), that was later re-published in a book titled Interval in 2013.
"The book was released by Japanese director Ryota Nakano at the International Film Festival of Kerala in the same year. The story was submitted to the festival as part of its event 'Project Speech'. I believe that Joseph got the story from the Chalachitra Academy, the organiser of the festival," Jayakumar was quoted as saying.
He has reportedly filed a complaint with the chief minister against the academy and said that he will resort to legal recourse.
However, a day after this, Jeethu Joseph denied the plagiarism allegations in an interview given to Asianet Online.
Speaking to the website, Jeethu reportedly said that the story of Aadhi is his own.
"I don't know anything about this allegation, nor do I know anything about his intentions. The story of Aadhi came to me when I was studying in college," he said.
Jeethu also added that different people are capable of coming up with the same storyline.
Interestingly, his 2013 block-buster film Drishyam starring Mohanlal in the lead role, had also run into controversy, after a plagiarism allegation was raised against the film.
Satheesh Paul, the director of the Malayalam film named Finger Print had accused Jeethu Joseph of lifting content from his published book Oru Mazhakaalathu.
However, a Kerala court had later given a clean chit to the director. Speaking about this controversy in the interview, Jeethu said:
"A similar controversy erupted during the time of Drishyam. The allegation was that the story is inspired from a short story. But when we enquired, we couldn't find any such story!"
During the same time, there were also allegations that Drishyam was inspired by a Japanese movie Suspect X. However, Jeethu had categorically denied the allegations.