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Kondurkar Studio refutes idea theft charges after W+K claims credit for Jindal Steel’s Cannes Lions-winning film

The studio claims it only collaborated with Early Man Film, and nobody else.

Kondurkar Studio has responded to the ongoing tussle between ad agency Wieden+Kennedy and Jindal Steel and Power on sharing idea credits after the company’s ad film ‘The Steel of India’ won two Lions at the ongoing Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity in the Film Craft category.

W+K, earlier this year, took Jindal Steel and Power to court over an intellectual property dispute over the award-winning ad film.

In its petition to the Delhi High Court, W+K sought to be recognised as the original creator and copyright owner of the video. The advertising agency pointed out similarities between the imagery it had recommended and the final film that was carried out by Early Man Film and Kondurkar Studio.

In the form submitted to Cannes Lions and seen in the winning sheet, the entrant/idea creator have been listed as Early Man Film/Kondurkar Studio.

The question of who should receive the credit of ‘idea creator’ is now being asked.

Refuting allegations of idea theft from founder Amrish Kondurkar, the studio said it had no prior knowledge of anything that the larger agency might have earlier shared with its client. “He (Kondurkar) had moved on from W+K in January 2023, and Jindal Steel and Power had approached the agency for a pitch in July of the same year."

The brief, the studio explains, was always to celebrate the power of steel and the resilience of India, that the ad is a montage film on India and steel, and any ad on this topic will naturally portray these themes.

Left is W+K, right is final Jindal ad
Left is W+K, right is final Jindal ad

“To claim copyright infringement on such a basis is not only baseless but also a stretch of the imagination. The allegations are supported by misrepresented screenshots that arrange shots from various sources to falsely suggest direct copying. However, a 2-minute film is much more substantial than a few misleading screenshots added to create a narrative post-final film creation.”

Kondurkar Studio referring to Delhi HC’s order says the court, after thorough adjudication, found no wrongdoing on the part of Kondurkar Studio. “The resolution highlighted broader corporate concerns rather than individual actions, validating our position that the campaign was independently and originally created by Kondurkar Studio.”

The studio states the creation of the film “involved no collaboration or communication with the larger agency during its development. It is therefore absurd for them to demand credit for a film they had no part in conceptualizing or producing.”

“The entire process from briefing the director, to sharing treatment notes, to conducting PPM, shoots, and post-production, was carried out independently by Kondurkar Studio and Early Man Film.”

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