In a development that is bound to create a political storm in India, a film produced by Former French President Francois Hollande’s partner Julie Gayet has been accused of receiving funds from Anil Ambani whose firm Reliance Defence is an Indian offset partner of Rafale’s manufacturer Dassault Aviation.
Indian Express reported that Julie Gayet’s firm ‘Rogue International’ had received funding of over one million euros for its film Tout La-Haut from Anil Ambani’s firm Reliance Entertainment in 2016 before India and France signed MoU for acquiring 36 Rafale aircraft.
Indian Express reported that on January 24, 2016, Reliance Entertainment announced that it had entered into an agreement with Francois Hollande’s partner Gayet’s firm Rouge International to jointly produce a French film.
The news paper reported that it was barely two days ago on January 26, 2016 when both countries signed the MoU for the purchase of 36 jets in flyaway condition.
The deal between the countries as a government-to-government sale was expected to be signed during Hollande’s visit but was delayed due to further negotiations.
The news paper reported that the deal for 36 Rafale jets was announced, negotiated between the two governments and signed during the tenure of Francois Hollande when his partner Julie Gayet was staying with him in Elysee palace in Paris.
Hollande was President of France from May 2012 to May 2017 and his relationship with Gayet became public in January 2014.
The film was directed by French actor and producer Serge Hazanavicius and was released in France two years later on December 20, 2017 under the title, Tout La-Haut.
Indian Express reported that the 98-minute French film was distributed in eight other countries including UAE, Taiwan, Lebanon, Belgium, Estonia and Latvia. Tout La-Haut has not been released in India.
Although the then French President Hollande’s partner Julie Gayet or her firm did not directly receive the funding from the firms linked to Anil Ambani.
However, this development is certain to create political controversy in India where opposition Congress party has constantly targeted NDA government for favoring Anil Ambani’s Reliance Defence over state firm Hindustan Aeronautics Limited.