Monday, May 12, 2008 10:55 IST
By Subhash K Jha
A year after the release of his wacky incorrigibly funny and spunky comedy The Loins Of Punjab Presents director Manish Acharya continues to be feted all over the world.
Last week at the Indian Film Festival Of Los Angeles (IFFLA) Loins... walked away with the Audience Award for best feature film.
Back Mumbai Manish is reeling under the impact. "It was shown at the prestigious Arclight Theatre on Sunset Boulevard. That in itself was a dream-come-true. The award was gratifying because the audience award is
not selected by a handpicked jury. It's a fully POPULAR award given to the most popular film of the festival."
The thought of a film about a desi music contest being watched by a predominantly American audience tickles Manish. "I'd rather have the most popular than the best film for Loins Of Punjab....There was just one
And I had an inkling that my film would get it because the theatre was full and there were hordes who stood up and watched the film. And there was laughter all across."
What gratified Manish was that the Americans connected with the theme. "If you look at it The Loins Of Punjab Presents.. is a very Indian subject. There're dozens of characters singing 40 Bollywood songs.
But the songs are not used in the traditional Bollywood formula. The Americans are watching my film as they'd any film about a flamboyant demonstrative passionate community like My Big Fat Greek
Lamentably Manish feels there has been no Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon or No Man's Land from India. "Yes, Lagaan did create a stir. But only at the Oscars. Unfortunately by the time Lagaan released in the US
dvds were already out."
And now Manish is looking at Loins Of Punjab Presents... as the breakthrough Indian film in the US. "After the screening there have been many offers to acquire the film for the US. I'm hoping the film will be accepted
as more than a celebration of Bollywood songs and traditions."