Director Sartaj Singh Pannu has filed a case in the Delhi High Court against the producers of the film Nanak Shah Fakir – Oscar winning sound artist Resul Pookutty and Harinder Singh Sikka. He has alleged that Sikka has wrongfully taken credit as the director of the upcoming film, claiming that it was him who helmed the biopic of Guru Nanak Dev.
“A case has been filed by me against Gurbani Media Entertainment, in Delhi High Court. I respect Resul sir, but since he is a co-director of the company, he too has been sent a legal notice,” says Sartaj.
It was actor Tom Alter, who plays a pivotal role in the film, who introduced Sartaj to the producers. “I came on board as the director in October, 2013 and spent two-and-a-half years on the project only to realise that Harinder Sikka released the trailer of the film online and mentioned himself as the director of the film,” says Sartaj, who has filed the case with 60 testimonials from members of the unit, a signed affidavit from Tom Alter and is also supported by Arif Zakaria who plays Mardana and Adil Hussain, who plays Rai Bhullar in the film.
The film’s screenplay and dialogues have been written by Sagar Sarhadi, whose collection boasts of Yash Chopra classics like Silsila and Lamhe and Sartaj claims, “Even he hasn’t been credited in the film.”
When contacted Resul Pookutty said, “I am aware that the final case hearing is on April 7 and I abstain from further comment as the matter is subjudice. Also, I am aware of the contract between the parties and as per that, there was more than one director.”
The film that has music by AR Rahman, has been caught in multiple controversies since it was announced in 2013. Sikh community had slammed it and the Sikh Students Federation is demanding a ban on its release on April 17, in Punjab.
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