Production on I Hate Luv Storys, currently filming in Queenstown, New Zealand, has reportedly hit a hurdle, due to a legal dispute over a steam train that was to be used as a setting for a vital sequence in the film.
The Kingston Flyer steam train stopped running in April 2009 due to financial difficulties; in November the company owning the train, Kingston Acquisitions Limited, was placed into receivership and currently owes over NZ$4.7 million in debts.
For the purposes of I Hate Luv Storys, the train needs to be located at Kingston Station — currently it is about 50 metres away and needs to be towed to the station for filming. The problem: due to the ongoing disputes related to the receivership settlements, a trespass notice has been issued to the former operator of the train, Phil Kerr, barring him from using the train at all. Mr Kerr’s company, Kingston Flyer Steamtrain Ltd, is the only local company with a legal license to tow the steam train into place.
However, the latest reports indicate that all parties involved are dedicated to finding a solution to the problem. Following local coverage of the issue in the Southland Times, Mr Kerr has reportedly been in touch with Land Transport New Zealand and has made a statement saying:
“Kingston Flyer Steamtrain Ltd which holds the Rail Safety Licence for the Kingston Flyer is willing to assist Dharma Productions … to make this happen. We have been advised by LTNZ that it is possible to move the train under our license. We are more than willing to assist.”
Line producer for I Hate Luv Storys, Uma Singh, said, “The goodwill shown by Mr Kerr is very welcome,” adding also that “I hope more and more Bollywood films come here [New Zealand], and the attitude he has shown is all part of the reason we are here.”
Dharma Films executive producer Marijke deSouza also weighed in on the matter, saying: “This film is far from being derailed and right from the start this project has been about joining hands and making things happen. We are completely happy with all the support we have received.”