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  1. #1
    Kal Ho Na Ho
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    India & Cambodia

    Default I'm not seeking publicity: Abhay

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    Short film director Abhay Kumar, who has alleged that Dibakar Banerjee’s LSD is similar to his Udaan, says he’s only looking for acknowledgement — and NOT money

    What’s this whole issue about the similarities between your short film, Udaan, and Dibakar Banerjee’s LSD?
    I had made Udaan in December, 2008. The short film was uploaded on YouTube. In 2009, I won the jury award at MAMI for this film. Two-three months ago, I had gone to Dibakar’s office to give an interview, so that I could assist him. Though I didn’t get to meet him, I met his co-writer. I am a big fan of Dibakar and like his work a lot. It was during this interview that I had spoken about Udaan. I was told that LSD’s story was already in place. Things took a different turn when LSD released. Initially, when my friends messaged me about the similarity, I thought it was because both the films were of the handycam genre. But it’s only later when I watched the film that I found that there was more to it. The first section of LSD is about a couple on the run. They get killed by someone they trust. There’s a thematic similarity. But I find the treatment of the film similar as well. Of course, there are differences since mine is just a seven-minute film and this portion in LSD takes up a longer duration. If they have been inspired by a short film, it would be nice to be acknowledged.

    Have you tried to get in touch with Dibakar himself?

    A channel ran a teaser saying that I have alleged that LSD is a copy. But let me clarify; I haven’t spoken to that channel. I am not interested in a lawsuit. Films are a subjective medium. I operate almost on a zero budget when I am making short films. If my short film inspires anyone to make a feature, I would only want the person to acknowledge that. This acknowledgement will help the cause of independent film-makers.

    Should there be an opportunity, would you assist Dibakar?

    Yes. I’ve respected Dibakar much before he began making LSD.

    Are you seeking publicity from this allegation?

    Channels have got in touch with me. But I’ve refused to speak on this. My film is there online. People have seen LSD and they can figure out the similarities. If I wanted publicity, I could have started discussions on social networking sites. I’ve done none of that. I’ve received positive support from people within the industry too.

    Has it ever struck you that those who’ve lent you support could also have a score to settle with Dibakar?
    LSD has had mixed reactions. People have either liked or hated the film. But there has been an excessive hype. I am new in the industry. Those, who are supporting me in the industry, are strangers. There’s never been any personal contact.

    Do you feel more disturbed because all this has got to do with Dibakar — a director whom you respect?
    It’s a mixed reaction. I don’t know if he has taken elements from Udaan. As things stand now, I feel good to realise that both films are so similar in outlook. Even if I haven’t got a big platform yet, I feel happy to know that I am thinking like those who operate on a bigger space. Hence, I am not cynical.

    What’s keeping you busy now?
    I’m doing a hybrid film. It’s kind of a new medium animation.



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