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Shabana starrer 'Loins of Punjab Presents' sabotaged?

Mumbai, Sep 20 (IANS) Just a day before the premiere of his directorial debut, New York-based Indian filmmaker Manish Acharya was in for a huge shock when the sound parameters of his 'Loins of Punjab Presents' started showing problems.

2007-09-20T16:57:00Z

Mumbai, Sep 20 (IANS) Just a day before the premiere of his directorial debut, New York-based Indian filmmaker Manish Acharya was in for a huge shock when the sound parameters of his 'Loins of Punjab Presents' started showing problems.

He learned about the fault while he was on his way to his leading lady Shabana Azmi's house to wish her on her birthday.

'I was on the way to Shabana's house with my birthday gift for her when God decided to gift me with a jolt from the blue. I made a casual call to my assistants asking if the prints were in order. I was told the sound parameters were slightly off. My antennae went up and I decided to check the prints myself before reaching Shabana's residence,' Acharya told IANS.

'To my horror, I discovered the sound had reduced to a flat mono-level as if it was recorded through an amateur departmental-store recording device. By then I was in a state of utter panic. My release was three days away. There was no way I could release the film in that condition,' he added.

Further investigation revealed that a scratch ran across the entire soundtrack.

'As if someone had deliberately done it. It couldn't have happened accidentally. It was a systematic scratch,' said Acharya with certainty.

Asked how did such an act of sabotage could happen, the director said: 'The initial recording was done at Raj Kamal studios. The sound was fine then. I had checked. Then it went to Prasad Studios. The rectification was done overnight at Q Lab. They opened all their doors for me and I sat with the sound engineers till 3 a.m. Otherwise, we wouldn't have made it into theatres on Friday.'

Though the director is not blaming anyone he is still bent on finding out the culprit.

'I didn't want to play the blame game yesterday when I was in the thick of the crisis. But now I need to get to the bottom of this. Tampering with the soundtrack is no small matter.'

This sudden crisis took away the excitement of premiering his first film.

'Yesterday, when the crisis happened I couldn't care less about the premiere. I thought my film was doomed. Now that I've managed to pull myself out of the flash-crisis I wonder if this is the kind of home-coming I've received, what waits for me in the future.'

Acharya's film, releasing Friday, is a comedy about life and other contests.

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