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Dollu sound designer Nithin Lukose sparks National Award controversy, says film did not have sync sound

The Sagar Puranik directorial, produced by Pavan Wadeyar, was awarded Best Audiography at the 68th National Film Awards today

Dollu sound designer Nithin Lukose sparks National Award controversy, says film did not have sync sound
A still from the Kannada film Dollu
  • Prathibha Joy

Last Updated: 02.36 PM, Jul 22, 2022

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Earlier today, the 68th National Film Awards were announced, in which Dollu, director Sagar Puranik’s debut feature film was adjudged the Best Regional Film in Kannada. Sagar’s film, about a group of Dollu Kunitha artistes that is disbanded after they have differences with each other, and the efforts then put in to bring them back together and save the dying art, won a second award as well. Best Audiography in the Location Sound Recordist category (for sync sound films only) was awarded to Jobin Jayan.

Within minutes of the announcement, though, there were rumours that the judging committee had made an error in this category, as Dollu is not a sync sound film. Oscar winning sound designer Resul Pookutty tweeted, “The film that won the #SyncSoundRecording #NationalAwards is not even a sync sound film, it’s a dubbed film, confirms the Sound Designer of the film @nithin_lukose”, to which Nithin responded, “I don't know what happened behind the curtains of the National Award selections and it's procedures, But I pity the judgement of the jury who couldn't differentiate between a dub and a sync sound film, claims to be the experts in the scenario!”

Netizens who picked up on this exchange between Resul and Nithin chimed in. “Dollu (Kannada) is a dubbed film but the national awards jury chose Jobin Jayan as the best Location Sound Recordist (which is meant exclusively for sync sound films). Sheer irresponsibility,” wrote a user.

OTTplay shared Resul and Nithin’s tweets with producer Pavan, but the filmmaker did not respond to it. However, speaking to us prior to this, he had said that he was elated about the two awards for his films and was all praise for Jobin’s work, adding that recording Dollu in a closed studio set up was not feasible for them and that the performances were captured in live locations.

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