Entertainment One, Sahar still together: production house clarifies

MUMBAI: Entertainment One, Manmohan Shetty's film production house, has issued a notice yesterday stating that all is well between them and their associates Sahara India Mass Communication.

The production house unwittingly found itself at the centre of an imbroglio, when Sahara withdrew its involvement from the Ketan Mehta/Bobby Bedi-produced film Mangal Pandey - The Rising, last fortnight.

The reason: Entertainment One was financing the film and Sahara has a stake in the company.

In an attempt break the ice, the production house has issued a company release stating, "Sahara India is very much an integral part of the The Rising and 'not mere guests at the mahurat of the film' as misquoted by some section of the media."

The problem between Sahara and the producers began when the lead actress Aishwarya Rai, who is incidentally a director with Sahara, was ousted from the film by Bedi.

Immediately, Sahara decided to sever ties with the film and issued a press statement saying, "We shall never continue any association where the concerned people shall not care for the respect of our Pariwar and Pariwar people... We should have been intimated and consulted before Rai was so unceremoniously thrown out of the project."

Dragging Entertainment One into the issue, media reports had quoted Bedi as saying, "Entertainment One is still financing the film and that is what matters to us."

However, the company release issued by the production house clarifies, "Probably due to lack of communication, some issues have been misinterpreted regarding the role of Sahara in the film. We would like to bring to light that we had entered a memorandum of understanding with Sahara to financially assist a few film projects including The Rising."

The release says, "It is unfortunate that due to a certain issues related to Ms Rai, Sahara has had to take a stand to pull out of the project, and we respect the decision."

The release concludes saying, "Entertainment One and Sahara Pariwar would like to have a longstanding relationship in time to come."

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