Queer indie filmmaker accuses Amazon Prime series Made in Heaven for ripping off his own movie

Patrick Kelleher August 1, 2020
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Made in Heaven I Am Onir Twitter Amazon Prime

Made in Heaven still image (Amazon)

A queer independent filmmaker has accused an Amazon Prime series of ripping off his 2011 anthology film without any credit or acknowledgement.

Indian film and TV director and screenwriter Onir accused the creators behind Amazon series Made in Heaven of copying his award-winning film I Am in a series of tweets.

Onir spoke out about the similarities following a tweet from casting director Nalinii Rathnam.

“Did the makers of Made in Heaven ask/take permission/inform Onir before lifting this sequence frame by frame from his National Award winning film I Am?” Rathnam asked.

Onir shared the tweet and wrote: “I was quite taken aback when I saw that so much of that section of I Am was not only there as content but shot exactly in the same way.

“But acknowledgement has never been the strength of this industry,” he added.

Queer Indian filmmaker Onir said the similarities between Amazon Prime series Made in Heaven and I Am are ‘disheartening’.

In a follow-up tweet, Onir said it was “disheartening” to see Made in Heaven showered with praise for a scene that was extremely similar to his.

He added: “I am being told that it’s just the incident and many such incidents happen and there were no actual similarities in the way it was executed.”

I was quite taken aback when I saw that so much of that section of I Am was not only there as content but shot exactly in the same way.

In a later tweet he said: “Apparently it’s in my imagination that it’s so similar and in the episode it’s just an incident that is same and has no resemblance to the way it is in I Am!!!”

On Instagram, he suggested that the makers of Made in Heaven wanted him to be “grateful” and to “stay silent”.

“One can have the same theme, but this was even shot exactly the same way… coincidence indeed!”

Both projects feature the same actor as well as a number of similarities in story and style.

An article on A Pot Pourri of Vestiges details some of the similarities between the two scenes.

Both the scene in I Am and Made in Heaven feature two gay men kissing in a car when they are interrupted by police.

In Made in Heaven, the police officer accepts a bribe and leaves, allowing the couple to continue kissing.

However, in I Am, the police officer assaults one of the men while the other is forced to withdraw money from an ATM for a bribe.

Made in Heaven features a later scene where a gay character is assaulted by a police officer in a similar way to the incident in I Am.

Notably, both projects share the same actor in Arjun Mathur.


Related topics: Amazon Prime, India, onir

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