Name of the Bollywood game: titles trigger disputes!

By Jivraj Burman

Mumbai, June 14 (IANS) Bollywood producers are getting into disputes over the titles of their films, which they say are too similar for comfort. A recent case in point is "Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic" and "Thoda Life Thodi Magic".

The aggrieved parties say similar titles will cause confusion among prospective cinegoers and one could dim the prospects of the other at the box-office.

While producer-director Kunal Kohli has already completed "Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic" for Yash Raj Films, due for a June 27 release, actor-producer Saahil Chadha says the name is similar to his film called "Thoda Life Thodi Magic".

Chadha claims to have registered the name with the Title Registration Committee of the Indian Motion Picture Producers' Association (IMPPA) three years ago. As Kohli had registered the title of his movie with the Film and Television Producers' Guild of India, a war of words ensued between IMPPA and the Guild.

Even as Chadha tried to pre-empt Kohli from advertising the movie with the title "Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic," the latter not only started the promo of the movie but also fixed its release date.

Music company Venus' upcoming movie, "Kushti", in which WWW wrestling champion Khali plays himself, has also got embroiled in a battle with producer Anoop Srivastava over the title.

Srivastava claims that he had registered the title, "Kushti" with IMPPA much before Venus. Along with "Kushti," he says, he had also registered two other titles, "Yaaran Di...Kushti" and "Kushti...Ab Aayega Maza", for his proposed movie.

So far, the dispute is far from over.

If these two instances are not enough, producer Bikramjeet Singh Bhullar has also dragged actor-producer Anil Kapoor into a controversy over the title of the latter's under-production movie, "Shortkut."

Bhullar has contended that he had registered the title, "Shortcut" long before Anil conceived the idea for his movie.

In order to put an end to the controversy, Anil quickly added the suffix, "The con is on" to "Shortkut" to make it seem different from the title of Bhullar's movie.

So, Anil's comedy starring Akshaye Khanna, Amrita Rao and Arshad Warsi, is now called "Shortkut... the con is on." Using such subterfuges does seem to be ending the acrimonious wrangles for the time being.

Go Cam Films has also added an appendage, "Follow your heart" to the title of its latest movie "Hastey Hastey". The production house was forced to do so following an order from the City Civil Court, Mumbai, after producer Harwinder Singh filed a petition, claiming that the title "Hastey Hastey" had already been registered in the name of his banner, Global Entertainment.

Prior to the June 30 release of the movie, when Go Cam Films started advertising it, Singh once again moved court, pleading that the banner was using the suffix, "Follow your heart" inconspicuously and highlighting only the words "Hastey Hastey".

So the court served a contempt notice on Go Cam Films and passed an interim order, asking it to henceforth print the movie's full title in uniform letters as "Hastey Hastey Follow Your Heart" and not "Hastey Hastey" in bold letters and 'follow your heart' in small letters.

The court is expected to give its final verdict in the case shortly after taking into account the procedures that associations follow in registering movie titles.

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