Saaho, one of the most awaited films of 2019, hit the screen on August 30. Directed by Sujeeth Sign and produced by UV Creations, the Prabhas and Shraddha Kapoor starrer has courted controversy within 24 hours after its release.
Moving into the details, a Bengaluru-based artist has accused the makers of Saaho for plagiarism. On her official Instagram account, artist Shilo Shiv Suleman shared a photograph with a detailed caption of her artwork which she had staged at The Burning Man, which took place in 2014. Shilo shared that the same art has been copied for one of the posters of Saaho.
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Where does inspiration come from? What (sacred) wells do we drink from when we create from an original and authentic space? This week people from across the world gather back together in that dust @burningman and I am reminded of how much of my creation comes from my (beating) heart. Pulse and bloom is a biofeedback installation that reacts to people’s heartbeats, and it came to exist because of a series of personal relationships. It was born from love (like me). We had support from @burningman but we also pulled out of our own pockets to make it manifest. I left my home for the first time, moved to another country, went out into that desert. It cost me a heart. It was a gift, and a sacrifice for all of us involved, and changed the paths of all our lifelines. I’m quite certain it was intended for me to create this installation. I’m certain that the sand storms, the dust, the rose-pink clouds, the thunderstorms gathered around it intentionally, for me. What happens when that story gets taken without your permission? I am known by my creation. #pulseandbloom @rd108 @sabarani @lukeiseman @heatheraminastewart @samuelclay with a team of hearts @_gracenotes @jugularbean @vivek_chockalingam @brittanyjanis @_zenrabbit @mattmedved and more. Burningman 2014
In response to this, actress Lisa Ray took to Instagram to lend her support to artist Shilo and said this is not the right thing to happen. The actress shared a collage of the poster and the art installation and wrote, "What is creativity? What is art? Where does it come from? We know what it is not. It's not your social status. It's not your job title. It's not your appearance..." (sic).
A few minutes after the actress shared this post, many comments have been made and in fact, the poster and the artwork show a lot of resemblances and it is easily understood that the makers did not seek her permission.
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What is creativity? What is art? Where does it come from? We know what it is not. It’s not your social status. It’s not your job title. It’s not your appearance. It’s not even the image you see in the mirror. Creativity and its sister Art reach us from the sweet spot of the universe- the soul you might say- through mystery. But I do know that the creator- artist is the channel for it. Let me tell you how hard it is to birth anything original or authentic. I personally labored for years over my book, quelled the doubts and noise from others and didn’t emerge until I had almost undone myself. Because it’s a calling. And when I was moving through dark spaces of self-doubt or hitting creative blocks, I would turn to the work that @shiloshivsuleman puts out into the world and shares on her Instagram handle for inspiration. I can recognize when a creator works honourably and deeply, bleeding, sacrificing, unsleeping, stretching herself in the direction of emotional bravery to produce work that births those feelings we all look for in day to day life. To feel inspired. To feel alive. That’s why when something dishonorable happens, we need to stand up and speak up. To hold up a mirror to these makers to make them understand THIS IS NOT RIGHT. It’s come to light that a big budget film production has ripped off one of Shilo’s original creations. This is NOT inspiration but blatant theft. In no world, is this acceptable. The production did not contact the creator, ask her permission nor offer to collaborate or offer a credit. Nothing. This is not right. I believed the Hindi film industry was evolving necessarily past stealing storylines and rampant plagiarism but the producers of Shahoo have obviously not gotten the memo when it comes to art. Here’s the thing- Creators are worthy of worship. What they produce are more lasting and precious so than all the other ‘things’ we accumulate that can be taken away. Let’s hold these producers accountable for their infuriating, dishonourable action. How would you feel if a thief slid into your home and took away your most prized possessions? Your heart. Your soul. And your livelihood. Image @dietsabya
Lisa further added, "...We need to stand up and speak up. To hold up a mirror to these makers to make them understand THIS IS NOT RIGHT. It's come to light that a big budget film production has ripped off one of Shilo's original creations. This is NOT inspiration but blatant theft. In no world, is this acceptable. The production did not contact the creator, asking her permission or offer to collaborate or offering a credit. Nothing. This is not right." (sic)
Saaho makers claim that they have spent Rs 350 crores in the making of the film. They are yet to react on this issue and all that the netizens want is Shilo to get the credit. Because the art in the poster is not an inspiration, but definitely a theft. Laisa ended her post with a question, "How would you feel if a thief slid into your home and took away your most prized possessions? Your heart. Your soul. And your livelihood." (sic)
This controversy is the most trending topic now, as this is not what the fans of Prabhas have expected from the film.