Filmmaker Puri Jagannadh, producer Charmme questioned by ED over Liger funding ‘from foreign source’

Published on Nov 18, 2022 01:35 PM IST

Following reports that money used to fund Liger came from a foreign source, which is a violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) of 1999, ED summoned Puri Jagannadh and Charmme Kaur to confirm the identity of their investors. A source told HT they were ‘grilled for close to 12 hours’.

Liger producer Charmme Kaur with lead actors Vijay Deverakonda and Ananya Panday, and director Puri Jagannadh.((File Photo))
Liger producer Charmme Kaur with lead actors Vijay Deverakonda and Ananya Panday, and director Puri Jagannadh.((File Photo))

Filmmaker Puri Jagannadh and producer Charmme Kaur were questioned by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday over the funding of their last release Liger. As per reports, both Puri and Charmme were summoned by ED to know about the details of the financiers of the film. Also read: Liger combines the worst of Bollywood misogyny and Puri Jaggannath's films

Liger was directed by Puri Jagannadh and it starred Vijay Deverakonda, Ramya Krishnan and Ananya Pandayy. Karan Johar came on board to present the film in Hindi. The film marked Vijay’s Bollywood debut. Despite being aggressively promoted as a pan-India film, Liger failed at the box office.

Following reports that money used to fund the film came from a foreign source, which is a clear violation of the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) of 1999, ED summoned Puri and Charmme to confirm the identity of their investors.

“The ED officials wanted to know the name of the company or individuals, who funded the movie. They strongly believe that the money used to fund the movie came from abroad. They’re investigating to check if any of this funding was in violation of FEMA,” a source told HT. The source added that the filmmaker-producer duo was grilled for close to 12 hours. Some reports claim that some politicians invested their black money to fund the movie.

Liger had opened to largely middling response from the audiences with most calling the film ‘formulaic’ and ‘wasted opportunity’ for Vijay who spent three years on the project. An excerpt of the Hindustan Times review of Liger had said, “Liger is loud from the word go. Be it the characters, action in the ring or background music - it's all screeching in your ears non-stop for 140 minutes. One thing that's evident from the start is that Bollywood doesn't seem to learn its mistakes. How many times has portraying characters with disabilities such as speech impairment put filmmakers into trouble and Liger is no different…”

Even before the release of Liger, it was announced that Vijay and Puri will work together on another project titled Jana Gana Mana. It was also announced that the film will be released in August 2023. However, the project was later dropped.

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