Nitin Kumar Gupta’s forthcoming project ‘L.A.C.’ recently courted controversy after stills and videos from the film, mistaken to be real incidents on the India-China border, went viral.
The director shares that he was not expecting something like this to happen with the film that stars actors Rahul Roy and Nishant Singh Malkhani, among others.
“I was shooting my new film in Russia when my friends forwarded some Twitter posts where footage from my film ‘L.A.C.’ was shown as Indian soldiers having captured 150 Chinese soldiers. I thought it was a one-off post but then I started receiving messages from everywhere about this news. I also found out that on the other side, Chinese websites were using stills from my film to show the victory of their soldiers. I was disturbed at the propaganda my film was being used for, but as a director I also felt satisfied that my film looked authentic enough to convince viewers. I immediately issued a clarification on my Instagram account,” says Nitin.
The film ‘L.A.C.’ is loosely based on incidents that happened on the borders.
“We used real life incidents and fictionalised them. Since we used over 500 actors for some scenes, it was impossible to keep cellphone filming under control. Some of the actors filmed the fight sequences and uploaded them on their YouTube channels. Parts of these were picked up by various viewers and used for the wrong reasons,” he explains further.
Filmed in the winter of 2020 in real war locations in Kargil for over 25 days, ‘L.A.C.’, according to Nitin, is Bollywood’s first single-shot film. It runs without a single cut. Real army costumes and gear was used to make it look real. The post production of ‘L.A.C.’ has just been completed in Russia. “We have offers from a few OTT platforms but we are looking for a theatrical release if possible,” says the director.
It is often said that both good and bad publicity helps. “Yes, controversy surrounding a film always leads to hype. But if the controversy causes negative feelings towards the subject or to anyone in real life, I would rather stay away from such controversies. The intention of a film should be to entertain, not hurt anyone,” adds Nitin.