Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Philly film scandal

More than 1,000 people who worked on a recent Philly-shot Bollywood film say they've been cheated out of their final paychecks.

Philly film scandal


One of the city's biggest casting directors, the owner of a car-rental company, the Teamsters health-and-welfare fund, the Greater Philadelphia Film Office and more than 1,000 crew members and extras who worked on a recent Philly-shot Bollywood film are crying foul.

They say their final paychecks and payments -- well over $100,000 worth -- have bounced, and producers are not responding to their calls and e-mails. Extras had been told to hold the checks till Jan. 9.

Dharma Productions, one of the biggest film studios in Mumbai, contracted with Australia's Swish Group to produce the romantic thriller starring real-life couple Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor. Swish's Mitu Bhowmick Lange -- who praised Philadelphia to the heavens in an interview three months ago -- is not answering her phone. 

Aggrieved film-industry people, who've been calling me yesterday and today, have been reaching out to Lori Landew and Justin Wineburgh at the Philly office of Cozen O'Connor.

Cary Stynes, a Swish rep, emailed back late Thursday:

"1. There were some banking difficulties experienced with respect to the final payments for a certain number of the crew that worked on the project over the Christmas and New Year period due to a problem with the transferring of funds from Australia to the USA. This is in the process of being rectified
2. The amount of money involved was relatively small and we have assured all crew involved that they will be paid in full shortly
3. Swish is a reputable organisation and has to date paid approx 97% of all invoices in relation to the project on time and in full
4. All amounts owing to crew will be paid in full."

Stay tuned.
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Michael Klein, the editor/producer of, writes about the local restaurant scene in his Inquirer column "Table Talk." Have a question? Email it! See his Inquirer work here.

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