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By With the industry majorly with Shah Rukh Khan in boycotting the Sansui awards, who will the awards go to? By Subhash K. Jha
  • Published 29.04.05

The Sansui awards that Pritish Nandy Communications presents every year is in a bit of a jam. A dispute between Pritish Nandy?s daughter, Rongita Nandy, and Shah Rukh Khan?s wife and best friend, Gauri Khan and Karan Johar, at a special screening of PNC?s Shabd in February this year, has precipitated to what looks like a war of nerves between the two camps.

At the Shabd screening Rongita had apparently asked Gauri and Karan to leave since the show wasn?t meant for people from inside Bollywood. Shah Rukh Khan understandably took umbrage to people close to him being subjected to such an embarrassing situation. The fall-out of the incident has been grave: apparently Shah Rukh Khan and all his friends (which means practically 75 per cent of the film industry) have decided to boycott the Sansui awards organised by PNC.

What?s the truth behind this boycott theory, and where do this year?s awards, already postponed twice, stand? A report suggests that Shah Rukh and Pritish Nandy have met and patched up their differences and that the megastar, winning every award this year for his performances in Veer-Zaara, Main Hoon Na and Swades, has tacitly agreed to participate in the Sansui awards.

But a close friend of Shah Rukh completely rubbishes this report. ?There has been no patch-up, there won?t be either. Shah Rukh isn?t one to take any insult, intentional or non-intentional, to his loved ones lying down. And when it comes to his wife Gauri he?s absolutely hyper. Shah Rukh was livid after what happened at the Shabd screening. There?s no way he will overlook the incident.?

Regarding the matter Pritish Nandy is his usual calm and blunt self. ?As far as we at PNC are concerned the matter is over and done with. Yes, there was an incident involving Gauri Khan and Karan Johar at the Shabd screening. We?ve apologised to them although there was absolutely no intention to hurt or offend. It?s a matter of policy for us to not show our films to people within the film industry before release. We?ve learnt this the hard way. Some years ago we had made a film called Sur. Someone from the industry saw the film and badmouthed it all over the place. Resultantly, distributors walked out at the 11th hour causing great inconvenience for the film. Ever since then we?ve decided to never show our films to industry folks. Hence the incident during Shabd.?

So has there been an attempt to iron out differences for the sake of the Sansui awards? ?Shah Rukh and I met over lunch. But I?m not very sure if that would be considered a reconciliatory rendezvous. As far as we at PNC are concerned we are putting up the Sansui show at London end of May ? probably May 26 ? and we?d love to have Shah Rukh at the show. The ball is entirely in his court.?

Meanwhile PNC, whose latest release is the critically acclaimed Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi, is getting ready to release its next film, an out-and-out comedy, Ek Khiladi Ek Hasina featuring Fardeen Khan and Koena Mitra.

With Ek Khiladi Ek Hasina, PNC gives another new director a chance to have his say. ?We introduced Sujoy Ghosh with Jhankar Beats. Our Popcorn Khao Mast Ho Jao was directed by another debutant, Kabir Sadanand. Ek Khiladi?is directed by screen writer turned director Suparn Varma. It?s a total masala film, wacky and witty?. We are also launching a new film called Aayega with Sunny Deol in the lead. It?s again something totally unexpected from us. It?ll be directed by Rohit Shetty (who directed Zameen).?