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‘Secret Ballot’ dir extends best wishes to Masurkar’s ‘Newton’

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

‘Newton’ had come under the scanner for allegedly being a rip-off of 'Secret Ballot' but the director of the 2001 Iranian film, Babak Payami, has wished Amit Masurkar upon its selection as India's official entry to the Oscars.

Amid reports that the film has striking similarities with 'Secret Ballot', director-producer Anurag Kashyap came forward in support of the team. He shared a screenshot of an Indian journalist's interview with Payami on Facebook, with permission, where Payami said he was happy for the selection of 'Newton' at the Oscars and had no issues if the two films shared thematic similarities.

Calling the Iranian director 'a true artiste', Kashyap wrote alongside the post that he hopes Payami's answer "puts enough shame in our controversy mongers." The 'Secret Ballot' filmmaker now has the movie and will see it soon, he added.

Earlier, Kashyap had sent the link of 'Newton' to the producer of the Iranian movie, Marco Muller. Muller, who saw the film, told Kashyap that 'Newton' was "definitely no rip-off from our 'Secret Ballot (even if the general concept is the same)." Kashyap shared Muller's response on social media. Muller, in his response, said, "...There is not even a hint of plagiarism."

'Newton' revolves around a government employee's struggle to conduct election in a conflict-hit area of Chhattisgarh, while 'Secret Ballot' focuses on a woman ballot officer, who visits a desolate place in Iran to convince people to cast their vote.

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