Bollywood scandal hits Philly (i.e. Indians skip town)

z118If you were an extra in a Bollywood film shot in Philadelphia recently, you may have found yourself out of luck when it comes to cashing in your paycheck.

According to the Inquirer:

One of the city’s biggest casting directors, the owner of a car-rental company, the Teamsters health-and-welfare fund, the Greater Philadelphia Film Office and more than 1,000 crew members and extras who worked on a recent Philly-shot Bollywood film are crying foul. They say their final paychecks and payments — well over $100,000 worth — have bounced, and producers are not responding to their calls and e-mails. Extras had been told to hold the checks till Jan. 9. Dharma Productions, one of the biggest film studios in Mumbai, contracted with Australia’s Swish Group to produce the romantic thriller starring real-life couple Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor. Swish’s Mitu Bhowmick Lange — who praised Philadelphia to the heavens in an interview three months ago — is not answering her phone.

Yikes! I found an ad online that claims to pay extras  ” $400/8hr day or $600/12 hr day” if featured in the film.  Anyone know anything else about this? From the comments on philly.com, the gypped folks are rightly pissed.

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9 responses to “Bollywood scandal hits Philly (i.e. Indians skip town)

  1. I appreciate the info. I just emailed both the GPFO and the Philly SAG office asking them what was being done to help resolve this matter on behalf of local film industry workers.

  2. <3

  3. I received the following from the area Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Executive:

    Hello Doug
    My name is Rick McKiddy and I am the north region Executive for SAG. You recently emailed us asking what SAG is doing in response to Bollywoods refusal to pay actors, and I wanted to answer your question as it relates to SAG.

    The film that you referenced was not a SAG movie and therefore there were no SAG members involved in it. Had this been a Unionized production, there would have been safe-guards for the professional actors that we have the honor of representing, built into the agreement, and funds verified before the start of production.

    Interestingly, to date, I have not heard anything from the Greater Philadelphia Film Office, which, it seems to me, should be in a better position to influence the imposition of sanctions on the release and distribution of the this film – at least in this area.

  4. There ya go! Union or bust! (Thanks for that, Doug.)

  5. Always happy to provide illuminating info.

    Oh, by the way, the last paragraph of my previous comment, referencing the Greater Philly Film Office, is mine, not Mr. McKiddy’s.

    One of these days maybe I’ll learn how and when to use quotation marks. Maybe not.

  6. Pingback: Philly AIDS Thrift Goes Indian « My Philadelphia Story

  7. “I found an ad online that claims to pay extras $400/8hr day or $600/12 hr day” if featured in the film. ”
    Those ads anger me- they run a scam to lure naive actors in w/ the false expectation of $$$dreams. For films, Non-Union get under $100 (even if you’re “featured”) while Union get a little over $100 + OT (if over 10hrs i think) + penalty pay everytime a Union rule is crossed. I can’t speak for “featured roles” SAG actors though- but this sounds more like a day player or speaking role.

  8. What a scam. Thanks for sharing, Christine.

  9. Super post, Need to mark it on Digg

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