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Exclusive! Nishad Koya refutes Dayal’s copyright claim, says Kunchacko Boban film based on NN Pillai’s Dam

Kannada filmmaker Dayal Padmanabhan had sent a notice to Sree Gokulam movies stating that the makers of the upcoming Ajai Vasudev directorial has not procured the Malayalam remake rights of Aa Karaala Ratri

Exclusive! Nishad Koya refutes Dayal’s copyright claim, says Kunchacko Boban film based on NN Pillai’s Dam
Ajai Vasudev, Kunchacko Boban and a still from Aa Karaala Ratri

Last Updated: 01.37 PM, Oct 07, 2021


We had recently reported that Kannada filmmaker Dayal Padmanabhanan had sent a notice alleging copyright infringement to Sree Gokulam Movies. Dayal claimed that the production house cannot back its next venture with director Ajai Vasudev and Kunchacko Boban without procuring the remake rights of his Kannada movie Aa Karaala Ratri, which he alleges is the screenplay the Malayalam film is based on.

The Karnataka State Award-winning director, who had helmed Aa Karaala Ratri that was based on Mohan Habbu’s Kannada play, in a notice sent to the producers along with the Kerala and Karnataka Film Chamber of Commerce, stated that he was initially approached by Malayalam screenwriter Nishad Koya to procure its rights and then by producer MK Nazar of Goodline Productions. However, both didn’t follow up, despite paying a partial sum for the remake rights.

When OTTplay got in touch with Nishad, who has written the screenplays for Ordinary and Shikkari Shambi, he says that he had approached Dayal for the Malayalam remake rights. However, he dismisses claims that his script is based on Aa Karaala Ratri.


“The Kannada movie is based on a one-act drama titled Lithuania in 1915 by Robert Brooke. Thirty years later, another English writer had made it to a full-fledged play and then in 1979, NN Pillai wrote a Malayalam play based on it titled Dam that was published. We didn’t know about the latter when we initiated the talks about the remake rights,” explains Nishad.

The screenwriter said that he was notified by actor Vijayaraghavan, who is NN Pillai’s son, about Dam. “He told us that firstly Dayal cannot claim the rights because NN Pillai sir was the first to adapt the play in India,” Nishad says, adding that he has asked Dayal to return the cash they had given earlier.

Nishad also clarifies that the upcoming Malayalam movie will be based on Dam and their interpretation of it. “We will be announcing it officially soon because it’s a big thing to adapt one of NN Pillai sir’s works with the permission of his family. Both Chackochan (Kunchacko) and Kuttettan (Vijayaraghavan) will be announcing the news through a press conference,” he says.

Sree Gokulam Movies will solely be producing the upcoming venture, which might have either Nimisha Sajayan or Aparna Balamurali as its female lead. “Initially, Goodline Productions were attached and that’s why Nazar ikka was also in negotiations with Dayal. But once we realised that Dayal was trying to sell us the rights of a play that already had a Malayalam version, we withdrew,” says Nishad, adding that they are legally moving to get Dayal to return the sum they had already given him.

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