Ray's 'Sikkim' lands in fresh trouble

The query posed to the KKF is if it had screened a pirated version of the famous documentary on Thursday. While there is no answer from the festival authorities so far on this, ACT’s managing trustee Ugyen Chopel has already obtained a stay order on its public screening from a Sikkim court. His claim was the copy of the film in KKF’s possession was an unauthorised or pirated version and by screening the same, the KKF has “tresspassed” into another “unauthorised territory.”

“We’ll seek a reply through the court from the KKF authorities on how they got this pirated copy of the film,” Chopel told the DHNS here over the phone from Sikkim on Saturday.

Chopel’s contention gains significance in the wake of the Censor Board authorities’ confirmation that the KKF director Nilanjan Chatterjee had sought a copy of Sikkim’s DVD from the Board.

Chatterjee wrote to Regional Censor Board Chairman Subrata Mukherjee:  “I would request you to accord us necessary permission from your office also for screening the film and provide us the DVD of it with English subtitles, which can be presented to the festival audience.”

According to Mukherjee, it was conveyed from the Board to the KKF director that the Board had no copy of the documentary and, hence there was no question of providing them with any DVD of the same.

Chopel said although colour correction and visual restoration of the documentary was complete, the version shown in Kolkata must have been ‘pirated’ before audio correction began in 2008.

The late maestro’s key cameraman Soumendu Roy handed over the copy of the documentary to the KKF director following a “request from none other than Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacherjee himself’”. The cameraman claimed to have received a copy of the film from Ray and passed it on to the KKF authorities without realising the legal angle involved.

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