Directors of “Vimanam” and “Abi” have decided to go ahead with their projects despite allegations that both films have similar plots. This comes days after “Vimanam” director Pradeep M Nair alleged that “Abi” a film scripted by Santhosh Echikkanam has a similar plot to his upcoming film.
Based on the life of Kerala’s Saji Thomas, a deaf-mute who built an aircraft for himself, Pradeep’s film is scheduled to begin filming at the end of this month.
Earlier in July, the debutant director approached Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA) alleging that the script by Santhosh Echikkanam for “Abi” starring Vineeth Sreenivasan directed by Srikant Murali has a similar plot to his own film with actor Prithviraj in the lead. After the intervention by FEFKA failed to bring the matters to a close, Pradeep has threatened to move court accusing Santhosh of copyright violation.
Speaking to The News Minute, Pradeep said that he had been working on the script for over five years now. Admitting that the film is purely based on Saji Thomas’s life and that he has already bought copyrights and personality rights for the film, the director said that the issue will see an end only when Santhosh removes similar portions from his script.
However, Santhosh Echikkanam denies allegations of similarities between the two films and dismissed speculation that his upcoming film is based on Saji Thomas.
“My film is based on the son of an acquaintance, who is not deaf and dumb, but an introvert, and part of a cricket team in Bahrain. Basing the story on him, I wrote about an introvert person who built an aircraft over a year ago,” Santhosh says.
While Santhosh admits that he initially wanted to incorporate Saji’s story, he says has removed portions of the film that bear resemblance to Saji’s life following Pradeep’s opposition last November.
“Now my story is not based on Saji, but is on a person who made an aircraft. How can Pradeep accuse me of copyright violations when I have myself vouched that I am not making a film on Saji Thomas?” he asks.
He also notes that he does not wish to proceed legally against Pradeep since both the films are completely different from each other.
However, Pradeep says that Santhosh had approached Saji seeking permission to make his life into a movie in the past. He claims that Santhosh even approached actor Prithviraj, asking him to back out from his film.