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Wednesday, Sep 18, 2019

Tere Bin Laden in trouble with Censor Board

First-time director Abhishek Sharma’s Tere Bin Laden has run into trouble with the Censor Board over a rooster-scream competition sequence in the film. The board objected to the use of a word “pencho” in the a scene of the film, produced by Pooja Shetty’s Walkwater Films because...

india Updated: Jun 22, 2010 17:32 IST
Rachana Dubey
Rachana Dubey
Hindustan Times

First-time director Abhishek Sharma’s Tere Bin Laden has run into trouble with the Censor Board over a rooster-scream competition sequence in the film. The board objected to the use of a word “pencho” in the a scene of the film, produced by Pooja Shetty’s Walkwater Films, that sounds like a popular Hindi cussword.

According to production sources, the board had asked for the sequence to be entirely eliminated from the film. “Abhishek has spoken to the board officials, but as of now, we don’t know whether the scene will be kept or removed,” adds our source from the production team. Sharma confirmed that he had met the officials, and that he tried convincing them to let him keep the scene in the film since it was vital to the flow of the story.

“Pencho is the name of an artiste. I have lines and names for every rooster in that sequence, which is a competition between them. There was no pun intended in the process. The rooster screams Pencho,” he says.

Essential to the story
However in retrospect, director Sharma admits that Pencho funnily sounds like the common cussword. “The scene was essential for the story’s flow, so I convinced the officials to let me go with a disclaimer that says that Pencho in the film doesn’t refer, or intend to refer, to any cusswords. Thankfully, the board members considered my point and didn’t chop the scene,” informs Sharma.

Meanwhile, Sharma has been receiving some blank, and some threatening phone calls from numbers that have been traced to Pakistan. The last call he received, from a Pakistani number, was about 10 days ago.

“I couldn’t hear anyone. But I have been getting phone calls from unknown numbers. I don’t deny that they could be from Pakistan, but I am not surprised. I was there for the research of the film’s subject and I shared my number with many people,” recollects the graduate from National School Of Drama.

According to rumours, Sharma met some of Osama Bin Laden’s 55 sons to study the subject of his film. He supposedly met them under the
pretext of making a documentary on their father, when the plan actually was to make a spoof film. And now, since the film is being promoted in cinema halls and on TV, the sons have objected through threat calls.

Bizzare Rumour
Sharma laughs and says, “The story is about a Pakistani journalist who wants to go to the US to make a career. But his plans never succeed. While moving around the countryside, he finds a man who looks exactly like Osama Bin Laden and he forces him to record videotapes the way the real man used to. This is the most bizarre, though not unheard of, rumour.”

Tere Bin Laden is a satirical comedy that deals with the post 9/11 farcical world. The reason that the short-filmmaker-turned-director chose this subject is because it has an universal connect.

“Whether it’s in India or anywhere in the world, we’ve all watched the CIA videos of Saddam Hussain and Bin Laden. The satire in the film is around the fast-growing Islamophobia in the First World. My film doesn’t lean towards the politics of the situation,” asserts Sharma, who recreated Pakistan in Mumbai and Hyderabad, to shoot the film.

You’ve got Mail!
Production house threatened

Recently, Walkwater Films, the production house helming Tere Bin Laden, received an anonymous letter threatening them of dire consequences on the release of the film. Sources reveal that the letter, which was addressed to the Walkwater office, and no one in particular, stated that Pooja Shetty’s company shouldn’t release the film since it supports Osama Bin Laden and terrorism. “The one who wrote the letter doesn’t know the plot of the film. It doesn’t deal with terrorism, neither does the comedy support it,” states a production source.

That’s a Fake
Don’t fall for it. After Bollywood and Hollywood stars, politicians and cricketers, it would have been a shocker for many to find Osama Bin Laden in Twitter space. Beware! He’s a fake who provides updates and opinions. FakeBinLaden, the Twitter name of the person running the id, has a plethora of fans on social networking sites including Facebook. Naturally, the real identity of FakeBinLaden will remain under wraps. But if you intend to read his thoughts and opinions, visit him on

Tere Bin Laden releases in India on July 16. It’s a tongue-in-cheek comedy about an ambitious reporter from Pakistan, desperate to migrate to the US in pursuit of the great American dream. Since his repeated attempts are shot down by the US Visa officials, he discovers a short cut to accomplish his ambition in a look-alike of Osama Bin Laden.

First Published: Jun 14, 2010 11:38 IST