Tiffin stiffed by scummy movie company

Please note: This article is published as an archive copy from Philadelphia City Paper. My City Paper is not affiliated with Philadelphia City Paper. Philadelphia City Paper was an alternative weekly newspaper in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The last edition was published on October 8, 2015.

On the set of Jihaad in Philly

This Daily News piece by Regina Medina about the spineless rip-off-hardworking-Philadelphians scheme that was the local production of the Bollywood film Jihaad proves that it's affected more than just those in the film industry � members of our hospitality biz are getting the shaft, too.

The jist of the story: Australia-based production company Swish Films oversaw the area filming of Jihaad, which stars Bollywood icons Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor. They allegedly skipped town without shelling out half a million dollars owed to various actors, crew people and other service providers.

Among the screwed � Tiffin owner Munish Narula, who was tapped to provide catering for the production.

He hired more staff to accommodate as many as 60 people a day on "Jihaad," the second Bollywood film for which he'd been hired to cater.


But two weeks into the "Jihaad" shoot, according to Narula, he and his restaurant were suddenly fired.

"'We love your food,'" Narula said he was told by Swish's Mitu Bhowmick-Lange. "'The service is great. Dharma has found somebody else, so we have to fire you.'"

At first, Narula said, he was incredulous: He had fed everyone on the set for 15 days and never saw a penny. He tried to negotiate with Bhowmick-Lange and Dharma officials, then hired a lawyer, he said.

The restaurant owner sued Swish and Dharma in Philadelphia small-claims court for breach of contract. Neither Swish nor Dharma showed up in court, he said. The court ruled in Narula's favor, but he doesn't think he'll get his money.

"None of them are based in the U.S.," he said. "They don't have any assets here. If we had a judgment against an American company, we could put a lien on one of their assets."

Here's hoping Narula and his employees get fairly compensated for their work. May Swish Films drown in an Olympic-size pool full of raita.

For what it's worth, Jihaad sounds pretty sweet. I would watch it:

The movie's plot involves an Indian woman wooed by a fellow countryman for her U.S. green card. The pair marry and move to New York, where she realizes that her new husband is part of a terrorist cell.

Posted 2009-03-25 16:31:04
could they go after whoever plans to distribute the film in the US? The US is a lucrative bollywood destination. I'm sure the distribution companies wouldn't want to get held up by a (possibly frivolous) lawsuit and might be able to pressure the actual production company?

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