Since the teaser release of the film Jugnu, Jami Mahmood’s creation has been in the limelight and has been mired in the plagiarism controversy.
After the release of the teaser on August 21, Lahore-based filmmaker Ahmad Baig took to Facebook to point out what he believed were similarities between Jugnu and the thesis film he made at NCA in 2015:
Jami, who is likewise credited for its story, dismissed the allegations and said, “Ahmad says that the trailer of his film is similar to Jugnu’s. But then he has re-edited his trailer to match ours. His original trailer was something else. So it seems like we copied his trailer. Now he’s saying that we’ve copied his story. But his film doesn’t exist online or outside of his computer/hard drive. So how can we copy the film if we can’t find it?”
“Jugnu’sstory is my own story,” Jami added, “In my childhood, I ran away with our sacrificial goat before Eid. Because we fell in love with the bakra. There are so many videos on YouTube about children getting attached to their bakras and running away with them. This was a very old story that I gave to [Jugnu director] Ali Abbas Naqvi. It’s a Bakra Eid story about a child and his goat. What happens after is key. We don’t know what happens in [Ahmad’s] film, the film doesn’t exist outside.”
“He thinks I was on his thesis jury at the NCA. But I was not on the panel that year and I’ve never seen his film,” he finished up.
While Baig in the long run said that he’s dropping the issue in the wake of having the conversation with Jami, he later revealed that regardless of his decision to let go of his plagiarism suspicions, Jami is threatening his alma mater.
He shared why he chose to release the issue: “Jami told me that the students involved in Jugnu Movie have no bread to eat at home, they have sold their sister’s jewelry in order to make this film. After hearing all this I said fine I will remove my post and will not be a hurdle in all this even if the story is similar.”
He expounded that he trusts that the thought for Jugnu has been inspired by his film: “One more thing I want to mention for those who are only defending [Jami] because [Jugnu is] a feature film. For an idea you just need one tagline, later the same line can turn into the shorty or a feature. The story might totally be different but my gut feeling is that it is surely inspired somehow.”
Baig likewise threatened that he will not offer work to NCA graduates later on:
However, later on Jami refused to the statements coming from Baig and said that he is working with the NCA students.
For record im still on NCA jury for this year and will not back off just cuz few seniors are pissed off. We stand firm against plagiarism no matter what. “Ibbo ki eid” doesnt exist online and there is no way to see it forget about copying it.
— jami (@jamiazaad) August 27, 2018