Here's what Anurag Kashyap did to prove Rajkumar Rao's Newton is not a copy of 'Secret Ballot'

We hope this settles the plagiarism controversy

Rajkummar Rao’s Newton received extensive appreciation for being India’s official entry for Oscars’ foreign language film category. But soon, this Amit Masurkar’s political satire landed in trouble when reports suggested that it was ‘inspired’ by a 2001 Iranian film titled Secret Ballot. Following the allegations, the makers of Newton vehemently denied the claims and said it was far away from plagiarism. Newton director Masurkar said, “The story was born from my heart. I had no idea about Secret Ballot.”

Not just the makers, even the producer of Secret Ballot, Marco Muller, has said that there was “not even a hint of plagiarisation” in Rajkummar Rao’s Newton. Muller has been associated with several prestigious film festivals and is also a part of Work In Progress (WIP) Lab of National Film Development Corporation’s Film Bazaar in Goa.

Bollywood director, Anurag Kashyap who saw Newton defended the Rajkummar starrer movie saying it was far from a rip-off. In a Facebook post, he said:

“With over-enthusiastic media and our cinephiles with over active imagination .. who called Newton a copy of Secret Ballot. Here is what the producer of Secret Ballot said to me after watching Newton. I requested the link of Newton from its director and sent it to Marco Muller, the producer.”

Kashyap also shared the screenshot of the conversation with Muller.


Anurag Kashyap's screenshot 1

Anurag Kashyap's screenshot

Also read: 7 reasons why Newton deserves to WIN the Oscars 2018

Rajkummar Rao in Newton trailer, Rajkummar Rao

Rajkummar Rao in Newton trailer

He also shared the response of Secret Ballot director Babak Payami to the questions posed by a member of Indian media regarding similarities – if any – between the two films. Kashyap wrote,

And this was Babak’s answer to an Indian journalist who wanted to know what Babak felt( without having seen the film) .. I don’t know yet if this interview is out. With permission, I am putting up the screenshot . I hope this puts enough shame in our controversy mongers .. now that’s how a true artist thinks. Babak now has the film and he will see it soon. But this is how he thinks and looks at us(indirectly).

Payami has said in his response that “thematic similarities are just that” and he hopes they will not stop others from “rendering the same themes in their own voice.”

Defending the film, Kashyap had earlier tweeted:

Secret Ballot

Secret Ballot poster

The movie, produced by Manish Mundra of Drishyam Films, had its world premiere at the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival, where it even won an award.

Standing up for the film, Kashyap said:

Newton, which stars National Award-winning actor Rajkummar Rao, revolves around a government employee who struggles to supervise voting in a forest area of Chhattisgarh, controlled by Maoists. Secret Ballot is described as a movie which focuses on the life of a woman ballot officer who visits a barren and desolate place to plead with the voters to cast their votes and take part in the elections.

Also read: Newton trailer: Rajkumar Rao’s new film is about democracy and is refreshingly different. WATCH

With this, we hope the plagiarism controversy is settled.