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“Cine 1 Studios Takes ‘Animal’ Dispute to Court, Aiming to Halt OTT Release”

Cine 1 Studios Pvt Ltd, a co-producer of the Bollywood film ‘Animal,’ has taken its grievances to the Delhi High Court, seeking a stay on the movie’s release on OTT platforms, digital streaming services, and satellite broadcast. The legal action comes amidst claims of breach of agreement and alleged non-payment by the production house.

Directed by Sandeep Reddy Vanga, ‘Animal’ hit theaters on December 1, 2023, and is scheduled for release on the Over-The-Top (OTT) platform Netflix on January 26. The legal dispute arises as Cine 1 Studios Pvt Ltd alleges a breach of agreement, asserting that it has not received any payment for its involvement in the film.

According to Cine 1 Studios, it had a 35% profit share and was entitled to 35% intellectual property rights under the agreement with the movie’s other co-producer, Super Cassettes Industries Pvt Ltd. However, the plaintiff claims it was kept in the dark about the film’s revenue, box office collections, music, satellite, or internet rights.

Senior advocate Sandeep Sethi, representing Cine 1 Studios, expressed dissatisfaction with the situation, stating, “They (Super Cassettes) have been collecting all the money but I have not been paid a single penny… I have a long relationship with them but they have no respect for the agreement.”

The legal battle took a turn when Super Cassettes Industries Pvt Ltd, the defendant, contended that ₹2.6 crore had been paid to Cine 1 Studios, a claim disputed by the latter. Senior advocate Amit Sibal, representing Super Cassettes, further argued that Cine 1 Studios had relinquished its intellectual property rights in the film for a consideration of ₹2.6 crore, a fact allegedly concealed from the court.

The Delhi High Court, presided over by Justice Sanjeev Narula, reviewed documents related to the alleged payment and directed Cine 1 Studios to ensure the presence of its authorized signatory, Murad Khetani, at the next hearing scheduled for January 18.

As the legal battle unfolds, the fate of ‘Animal’s’ OTT release hangs in the balance, underscoring the complexities and disputes that can arise in the entertainment industry over financial agreements and intellectual property rights.

Sources By Agencies

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