The ongoing skirmish between producer Firoz Nadiadwala and director Anees Bazmee has taken a new turn with Anees accusing Firoz of misrepresenting the truth about their monetary differences.
Sounding deeply offended Anees hit out. "Everybody knows about Firozbhai's monetary battles with those who have worked with him. I am not the first director he has fought with for asking for my rightful fees."
The director says money owed has been misrepresented by Firoz. "He claims he has paid me Rs. 9 crores already. That isn't true, and I've documented proof of it. The fact is, he agreed to pay me Rs 11.27 crores as my directorial fee. Out of this he actually paid me only Rs 6.64 crores. The money he owes me is Rs. 4.62 crores."
Anees says he has been true to the project from first to last. "I gave three years of my life to Welcome Back. I took on no other project during the time that this film was made. There were so many problems during the film's making. But I never wavered in my support of Firozbhai. And now this is how he feels about me just because I asked for my rightful money?"
Anees reiterates he has waived off a chunk of his payment. "I am only asking for Rs 2 crores from my remaining remuneration, which he is not paying me. I repeatedly requested Firozbhai and the film's co-producers Eros International to clear my dues. Lekin unke kaan pe joo tak nahin rengti (they can't seem to hear). Now I wonder if I'll ever get my money."
Regarding Firoz's claims that Anees threatened to stop the film's release if his dues were not cleared Anees says, "He knew it was just a threat. That's why he didn't pay up. No director would hurt his own project for money's sake, or for any other reason. Producers take advantage of directors by blackmailing them about their own films."
Anees Bazmee also challenges Firoz's claims of having shot the action sequences. "Like any producer he provided the facilities required and was around when the action was shot. If for that he wanted billing in the credits it's not my loss. It's the poor action director Abbas Ali Moghul's loss."
The director says he is very hurt by the allegations. "Firozbhai has forgotten that his last hit was Welcome which I directed in 2007. And now he has Welcome Back. He needs to realize who his well-wishers are."