In the last two months, Bollywood Hungama has published three articles on how all is not well with the upcoming film, Rosie: The Saffron Chapter, starring Arbaaz Khan and produced by Prerna V Arora. The film also marks the debut of Shweta Tiwari’s daughter, Palak Tiwari. In the first article, we informed readers how one day, Arbaaz was not allowed in the vanity van as the operator’s dues were not cleared. Our second article was a detailed one, listing how Prerna V Arora has gone back to her old ways and has defaulted on payments and thereby caused a financial mess. The third article spoke about how Prerna’s partner Resabh D Saraf was arrested from Lucknow airport when he was trying to flee without paying the dues.
And now, Bollywood Hungama exclusively brings to you the account of Manigandan Manjunathan, the producer and presenter of Rosie: The Saffron Chapter. He has come on record to confirm that all is indeed not well with the film. In his words, “Everything is mishandled.”
From Rs. 15 lakhs to Rs. 3.86 crore
Manigandan Manjunathan is a software developer who runs a fintech company. He revealed, “I am not into films at all. Dhanesh Udayavar aka Dhanesh Shetty is a CA and I had worked with him. He’s a mutual friend of my manager. In March 2021, he approached me to invest Rs. 50 lakhs for a song shoot of Rosie: The Saffron Chapter. They also committed that they’ll return the money in 2 months with interest. But just a few days later, Maharashtra went under a lockdown. The shoot was halted. So, we backed out and didn’t invest then.”
Manigandan then got involved with the film once the second wave of Covid-19 subsided. He said, “Dhanesh ji met me in June. He told me that they want to shoot the impending song. They claimed that once the song is ready, they’ll show it to a studio or a streaming giant, and sell them the rights. Hence, they’ll get money from the studio or platform. This time, I was asked to invest just Rs. 15 lakhs. The shoot took place at a well-known five-star hotel in Santacruz, Mumbai.”
Manigandan said, “Without informing me, they decided to shoot two songs instead of one. So the two-day shoot got extended to four days. They invited me for the first two days but I couldn’t make it as I got busy. On the third day, I finally went on the sets. There, I met Prerna V Arora for the first time. I also met Arbaaz Khan, Shivin Narang, Tanishaa Mukherji and line producer Salman M Shaikh.”
Manigandan then informed how he got conned, “On the set, they cooked up a story that Arbaaz sir’s date is not available and that we need to pay him to get his dates. They further claimed that if this payment is not done, then the shoot will go for a toss and will not happen for another 4-5 months. So I released the funds. Later, they asked me to put in more money. I thought it’s okay as initially, I had agreed to put Rs. 50 lakhs on the film. Before they went to Lucknow, I had given Rs. 51 lakhs in all towards making the film.”
Prerna V Arora, Resabh D Saraf and Dhanesh Udayavar’s demands for money didn’t stop and continued even when they went to Lucknow. “Apart from Palak Tiwari, everyone flew to Lucknow. They called me there and told me to see how the shoot takes place, including how they film the night scenes. Once I reached Lucknow, they once again told me to release funds due to some emergency or because Arbaaz Khan’s dates are not available. So they lied repeatedly and made me invest.”
Manigandan Manjunathan then dropped a bomb, “I was told to invest just Rs. 15 lakhs initially but I have ended up investing Rs. 3.86 crore!” He also added, “The budget initially was around Rs. 6.5 crore. Now the actual budget, including liability, post-production etc, is Rs. 8.90 crore. Out of it, Rs. 2.30 crore is the unpaid dues. The payments of the line producers Salman M Shaikh and Pankaj Chauhan and post-production people have not been done yet.”
The Lucknow schedule blunders
Manigandan explained in detail how the Lucknow schedule was riddled with blunders, “Pankaj Chauhan is the line producer in Lucknow. Salman M Shaikh is the line producer of Mumbai. Prerna called Salman M Shaikh to Lucknow. This resulted in a difference of opinion between the two line producers. Because of that, some misunderstanding happened and Pankaj, who was providing us with all the help, became non-cooperative. Ek myaan mein do talvar nahi reh sakti.”
He continued, “Prerna wakes up at 6 o’clock in the evening, not morning (she claims this is due to a medical issue). Then she plans the schedule which is supposed to start at 7:00 pm. All the actors, meanwhile, would be on standby. As a result, the schedule would start 3-4 hours late. The per-day cost of shooting is Rs. 8-9 lakh. Due to zero planning, no proper schedule and even unwanted holidays, the film couldn’t complete on time and went over budget.”
Fact check: Did the film’s producers falter on the hotel payments and did Resabh get arrested?
Bollywood Hungama had reported that the team of Rosie: The Saffron Chapter faltered with the payments at the two hotels in Lucknow. Manigandan Manjunathan confirmed that this episode indeed happened and added, “The issue has been solved now. The payment has been done. The problem began due to attitude issues. If you owe money, you can’t throw an attitude and brag that you are rich and powerful.”
He also confirmed that Resabh D Saraf was arrested from Lucknow airport, as reported by this portal. He said, “That problem started when Prerna V Arora left early in the morning without informing anyone. That created an issue.”
October release for Rosie: The Saffron Chapter?
When asked whether the shoot is still left, Manigandan replied, “The film is almost complete. 2-3 days of montage shots are yet to be taken. And one song needs to be filmed. Meanwhile, the edit is remaining; the film is in post-production stage.”
Prerna V Arora has claimed Rosie: The Saffron Chapter will release in October. To which he retorted, “It’s not possible to release the film in October. Some 35 days of post-production work is still pending. If all goes well and if everyone supports, we can still try to make it by Diwali.”
The makers had also announced that a song of the film will be released on October 9 but it hasn’t happened as yet.
Manigandan Manjunathan then makes his intention clear in speaking out, “Through this interview, I want to appeal that I want this movie to come out. I have an agreement with Mandiraa Entertainment (Prerna V Arora, Reshabh D Saraf and Dhanesh Udayavar’s banner) that clearly states that they’ll return my money to me with bank interest by September 15. I can fight legally but I don’t want to get into it. I want to complete this project provided I get support from director Vishal Mishra and the rest of the team. So if they support me, we can sell this film and settle the liabilities peacefully. It’s Palak Tiwari’s debut film. We want to give her a good start in the industry. Sadly, the way they are handling it is wrong and I don’t know why they are doing so.”
Manigandan also wants to put it in public that he’s an important and a majority stakeholder in the film, “The film has entirely been funded by me and Dhanesh Udayavar. Most of the money is given by me. Prerna is the presenter but her money is not invested. Everyone assumed Prerna V Arora is the producer and the one who has bankrolled the project. I was there on the sets but no one knew I had funded the film. They used to treat me as a visitor or a guest. It’s only when the teasers of Rosie: The Saffron Chapter came out in July and August (which bore his name) that everyone in the team learnt that I am the producer.”
He added, “She’s giving this false impression that she owns 100% rights to the movie. But that’s not true. I have an agreement with Vishal Mishra where it’s clearly mentioned that I have 100% right on the film’s IP.”
Manigandan Manjunathan is distraught at the way Prerna V Arora and Resabh D Saraf made a mess of the project. He lamented, “They want to enjoy the luxuries and lavish lifestyle but on someone’s money. Her bill at a five-star hotel in Santacruz is still unpaid. Who’ll pay for her stay? If Prerna sells the movie, only then she’ll get the money, right? Mandiraa Entertainment is committed to certain percentage of revenue from profit made by the film. However, all the money has been consumed in the production stage itself.”
Is Prerna going on floors with two more films?
Manigandan is also surprised to see Prerna V Arora and Reshabh D Seraf announcing multiple projects and trying to present that things are sailing smoothly for her. He said, “They announced Iti: Can You Solve Your Own Murder and some film called Sita Ree. I wonder how they got funds for these two films. And if they do have funds, why not settle the liabilities of Rosie: The Saffron Chapter first?”
Manigandan Manjunathan signs off with a tip for future investors in Prerna V Arora’s films, “My only advice to any outsider who decides to produce and fund Prerna’s upcoming projects is to be very, very careful.”
More Pages: Rosie: The Saffron Chapter Box Office Collection
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