Manikarnika – The Queen of Jhansi seem to have hit another financial roadblock. The film which was well in its post-production stage is now facing the wrath of workers who have decided to stall the shoot of the film. Apparently, the workers were promised that all their remuneration was supposed to be paid by October but there has been no development. The workers then decided to approach FWICE [Federation of Western Indian Cine Employees] to seek their help on the matter. The association has now come forward and decided to intervene in the matter.
Recent reports claim that the matter of non-payment of dues has left everyone upset including the technicians and junior artists. The producer Kamal Jain is currently not responding to any of their calls or messages, asserted Ashok Dubey, FWICE general secretary. He further went on to explain about the plight of the labourers and others working for the film, stating about how the producers owe them approximately Rs. 1.5 crores. According to him, the makers are supposed to pay approximately Rs. 45 lakhs to the workers, about Rs. 90 lakhs to the light vendors and about Rs. 25 lakhs to junior artists.
The said amounts, as per the promise made by producer Kamal Jain, were supposed to be paid to the respective department by October reportedly. However, they have failed to retain the same. While the workers spoke to Kamal in the first week of November, since then there has been no further progress on the matter. Eventually, on Wednesday, they decided to take up action by stalling their work on the sets of the film.
Also, Dubey has maintained that they want the CBFC and the company Prime Focus, who are working on the post production of Manikarnika – The Queen of Jhansi, to put their work on hold. Mainly, the workers and labourers want to ensure that the film doesn’t release until their payments are made. Dubey too extended his support to the workers in this matter and elaborated on the bad conditions provided to them during working on films such as lack of security etc. and added that they indeed need to be paid on time.
Besides FWICE, the Film Studio Setting and Allied Mazdoor Union too has come out in support of the workers. Producer Kamal Jain, on the other hand, has retained silence on the matter.
Manikarnika – The Queen of Jhansi, after much delay, is expected to release on January 25.