Poster plagiarism — ALTBalaji apologizes, but shows no intention to pay

ALTBalaji apologises

Scene III — ALTBalaji apologizes for “unintentional oversight”… but shows no intention to pay for their mistake.

Thank you ALTBalaji for finally stepping up. We, as producers, would be happy when you acknowledge the artists behind the post too. I am sure a gift hamper is on the way to our designers at Mouth Of Pigeon. Should there be any issue with that, communicate it to me, and I will have that sent across on your behalf. We are, after all, one industry.

And I sincerely pray that noone gets fired. It’s Covid time. Let this be the day when a conversation about the culture of plagiarism starts in all our offices. Let’s give design departments, the time and budget they need and deserve. Let’s encourage employees at all levels to say no to plagiarism.

And by all means, one must get inspired. We all do. What is a great piece of art that does not inspire 100 versions? But in such a case, let’s just acknowledge the original art and the artist, and give them a shout out. Nothing matters more to an artist than acknowledgment. Let’s start the culture of building each other up.

You are a big production house and we are small. So you have to lead the way here.


Scene II — ALTBalaji and Zee5 plagiarise poster design of an indie film

While imitation is the best form of flattery and flattered we truly are, it would be great if ALTBalaji and Zee5 will acknowledge the original work from which this poster is inspired.

Our poster is an original blood-and sweat work. We even did a photoshoot. Dhruv* was no more at at that time. We had to use another model and then superimpose his face. There is an immense deal of hard work that has gone behind this poster by Rohanpore and the creative team at Mouth of Pigeon, along with Jahan Singh Bakshi and Suds Saria. And while you accord due credit to the artists, the team, the piece of art, Loev for which this poster was created, a humble request to send a small cheque to Pigeon & Co, for we could hardly pay them at that time. Now that their work is inspiring your work too, maybe some sweets are due to them from your end too?

I am all for recreating the art. I for one would love to recreate the poster of A Streetcar Named Desire, featuring moi, but with due credits to the original and compensation to the artist, if possible, though compensations are never possible, even when they are.

I want to take this moment to also acknowledge those works of artists that I might have used to share as posts, where I failed to acknowledge them. The problem rests with all of us. We all must correct ourselves and others whenever we can. Let us grow out of it, together, as one industry, against plagiarism.


*One of the two actors on the original poster, Dhruv Ganesh, died of tuberculosis at the age of 29 while the film Loev in which he starred was still in the post-production stage. The film was later nominated in two Top 50 film festivals in the world — Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival and SXSW Film Festival.


Scene I

This isn’t the first time that ALTBalaji stands accused of daylight robbery. Pushpendra Tiwari claims that the poster design of Alankrita Srivastava’s Lipstick Under My Burkha was robbed from that of Sourabh Shrivastav’s ‘Play this.’



Arfi Laamba is an actor/producer. He’s also the co-owner along with Katharina Suckale of Bombay Berlin Film Productions, an Indo-European film studio; their Myanmar-French-German-Taiwanese collaboration The Road To Mandalay played at notable festivals including MAMI (Mumbai Film Festival), Toronto International Film Festival, Busan International Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival.

No comment
Site Archives

Related by