On Friday, the first poster for AltBalaji’s new streaming series, His Story, was unveiled. And moments later, its similarities to a preexisting poster, for the 2015 film LOEV, was discovered. Incidentally, both projects are about same sex relationships.
Art director and film marketing strategist Jahan Bakshi took to Twitter and wrote, “Bro @altbalaji are you okay? I mean if you need someone to design posters I can help you, I promise it doesn’t cost that much.” He added, “This poster for LOEV was designed by @TalkPigeonCo and illustrated by Rohan Pore. We spent months on it. Investing solid time/money on a poster for an indie film is difficult. And yet, a studio which surely has the resources to commission original designs opts to steal it. Sad.”
Previously, he had also pointed out similarities between the posters for AltBalaji’s The Married Woman, and the films Ammonite, starring Kate Winslet, and Ingmar Bergman’s Persona.
“WHY IS THIS INDUSTRY LIKE THIS?” LOEV director Sudhanshu Saria wrote on Twitter. “Woke up to find that our painstakingly illustrated, original poster for @loevfilm has just been blatantly ripped off by the geniuses at @altbalaji @ZEE5Premium for their show #HisStoryy.”
He continued, “Thirteen months of back and forth and so many drafts by the amazing minds at @TalkPigeonCo with oversight by @jahanbakshi and amazingly illustrated by artist @rohanpore just ripped off without any decency. Am glad they liked our poster; am glad they’re telling a queer story but why do this? What is the need? We made our poster with no funds to speak of. Why have a massive machinery like @altbalaji @ZEE5India if you can’t even come up with your own poster? Alerting my fellow artists @satyadeepmisra @MrinalDutt02 @Suparn — if you didn’t know, now you do. @ektarkapoor @TweetBaljit @ThisIsHowWeDing Let’s all do better.”
Sudhanshu concluded his thread by apologising to his ‘collaborators and artists for not being able to protect their work better’.
In an article for FilmCompanion, Jahan had written, “In Hollywood, they actually have awards for outstanding poster art and film campaigns. Admittedly, the bar is set much lower in our country, especially in mainstream Bollywood. Back in the days of the hand-painted posters, we produced some beautiful poster art, but now in the digital era—while we have had some good posters cropping up sporadically, it’s actually tough to recall a single flat-out stunner.”
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His Story stars Dhruv Ganesh and Shiv Panditt. His Story stars Satyadeep Misra and Mrinal Dutt.