'Ek Ajnabee' script for Oscar academy collection

Jan 31, 2006 Subhash K. Jha

Mumbai, Feb 1 (IANS) Bunty is bubbly. "Ek Ajnabee" producer Bunty Walia has just received a letter from the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences stating that they are interested in acquiring a copy of the screenplay of the film for their script collection.

Director Apoorva Lakhia, who is halfway through his next script, an actioner set in the thick jungles of Mizoram for which he wants someone sinewy like Akshay Kumar, is zapped.

"I just heard from Bunty Walia. It is unbelievable. I have just been on a holiday in Thailand with my family. I showed them all the locations for 'Ek Ajnabee'."

Isn't it ironical that the Americans want a copy of a script, which is straightaway inspired by the Hollywood film "Man On Fire"?

Apoorva is defensive. "No, why should that be a deterrent? In case you have forgotten, 'Man On Fire' was the third remake of an earlier film. So we can count 'Ek Ajnabee' as the fourth. It has also been selected for the Bangkok Film Festival."

Bunty is more open about his surprise.

"After all the backlash we got for 'Ek Ajnabee' being plagiarised... this honour. I believe only three other films - Ashutosh Gowariker's 'Swades', Nikhil Advani's 'Kal Ho Naa Ho' and Leena Yadav's 'Shabd' have been honoured in this way. I am quite flattered. To our credit, Apoorva and I never hid the fact that 'Ek Ajnabee' was adapted from 'Man On Fire'. Quite unlike some others who borrow blindly and presume others are blind to their intentions."

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