‘Gursimran Khamba is a friend, know truth better than most’: Chintu Ka Birthday director on crediting MeToo accused
Despite being dropped by MAMI in 2018 because of MeToo accused Gursimran Khamba’s involvement, the film Chintu Ka Birthday has retained Khamba’s producer credit. Directors Satyanshu and Devanshu Singh have said that it is only fair for Khamba to be credited for his work on the film.
Produced by members of the now defunct comedy collective AIB -- Tanmay Bhat, Ashish Shakya, Rohan Joshi and Khamba -- Chintu Ka Birthday was supposed to premiere at the MAMI Mumbai Film Festival, before it was dropped from the lineup. The film, starring Vinay Pathak and Tillotama Shome, will be released on Zee5 on Friday.
Satyanshu told Mid-Day in an interview, “Even when our film was suffering, we opted to stand by the movement by not claiming the film.” Khamba was accused by an ex-girlfriend of sexual misconduct, which he has denied.
“Considering we haven’t spoken against MAMI’s decision, means that we are supportive of the movement.,” Satyanshu added. “When this film was dropped, family members and friends were heartbroken. They wanted us to fight [for the film], but we maintained our silence. There is enough precedent in the past, where people in the wrong have [moved on] and done their thing.”
He continued, “Khamba is a friend and I know the truth better than most people. I believe it is a fair credit.” About the film’s journey, Devanshu said, “It’s not over confidence, we believed in the film when we wrote it back in 2007. It has stayed with us for 13 years, so one can imagine how special it is to us. On gauging the reaction of viewers, we agreed that the film is in indeed special. I am glad it is releasing digitally, but as directors, we understand the logistics.”
In the wake of the MeToo movement, work on AIB’s Amazon Prime series, Gormint, was also stopped. The project was cancelled after actor Irrfan Khan announced his cancer diagnosis.The revamped project will now star Manav Kaul.
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