A Philadelphia lawyer plans to seek an injunction to shut down an Indian movie now filming in New York City - a production that was shot in Philadelphia last fall before the filmmaker left owing more than $500,000 to local actors, vendors and crew.
And now some crew members are angry because the Bollywood studio financing the film wants to pay only 50 cents on the dollar to settle some of the tab.
Dharma Productions has offered to settle some of the debt even though it says that another firm, Swish Films of Australia, owes it. Dharma also demands that those taking the deal sign a waiver that they will refrain from seeking more money from the Bollywood studio, according to several crew members.
The studio has paid the Teamsters Local 107 in full, according to a union official.
Prashant Shah, a Dharma representative and the president of Bollywood Hollywood, the line producer for the New York City shoot, wouldn't confirm the settlement terms.
He did say he cut more than 400 checks "in good faith on behalf of Dharma, not on behalf of Swish."
The amounts offered are "better than what they would get with Swish," Shah said.
He also said that Dharma has cut a check to repay the Philadelphia police, which was owed more than $13,000.
Attorney Justin Wineburgh, who represents some of the merchants, said yesterday "an injunction would be sought and obtained" to prevent Dharma from continuing its New York City shoot. Filming began yesterday.
He declined to specify when he would take a legal step or if he already had.
Dharma, which has renamed itself Karma Films for the New York City shoot, "has been disingenuous in its efforts and the matter is not resolved," Wineburgh said.
"Dharma is attempting to film in New York City," he said. "They are trying to create the illusion to the New York City authorities that the problems in Philadelphia are over, and that's why they are selectively approaching some of those who worked in the film."
Dharma officials have contended since January that the studio paid more than $1 million to Swish, which Dharma hired to oversee the Philadelphia production. Swish did pay wages and expenses regularly each week until the last 10 days or so of the shoot.