After much deliberation and debate, India announced the official entry for the Oscars in 2023 a while ago. Neither SS Rajamouli’s magnum opus RRR nor Vivek Agnihotri’s film The Kashmir Files was chosen for an Oscar. Yes, you read that correctly!
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India recently announced Chhello Show as its official Oscars entry. The film is set in theaters in Gujarat and on select screens across the country on October 14, 2022. However, it appears that the Film Federation of India’s decision has left netizens upset. What’s all that about? Here’s everything you need to know.
Oscars 2023 leaves netizens divided between India
Filmmaker Pan Nalin took to social media to express gratitude over the big news. However, the decision to submit Pan Nalin’s Chhello Show as India’s official International Feature Film entry for the Oscars drew reactions that ranged from irrational to crazy.
Some Twitter users suggested that RRR would have been a better choice. After being broadcast on Netflix in May, SS Rajamouli’s period epic, originally created in Telugu and dubbed into a slew of languages, received extraordinary acclaim in Hollywood trade circles and the American press. The visually stunning film, set in colonial-era India, features Marvel-level action sequences.
Indian films struggle to stand out among the sea of Oscar contenders. Some Twitter users speculated that the Film Federation of India committee had miscalculated the current hype surrounding RRR. However, the International Feature Film category favors arthouse films from around the world. RRR’s creators could try their luck in the general categories. But they are almost always dominated by Hollywood productions.
Some Twitter users compared the Chhello Show choice to 2013 when The Lunchbox was passed over in favor of the lesser-known The Good Road. Today marks the ninth anniversary of the release of Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox.
While fans of Vivek Agnihotri’s The Kashmir Files were disappointed, the director himself came out in support of Chhello Show.
Chhello Show- Everything you need to know
Directed by Pan Nalin, the film is titled Last Film Show in English. It’s interesting that the director’s own childhood experiences in Gujarat, where he first fell in love with movies, served as inspiration for the movie. The coming-of-age drama is produced by Siddharth Roy Kapur’s Roy Kapur Films, Monsoon Films, Jugaad Motion Pictures, Chhello Show LLP, and Marc Duale.
According to a press note, the film “is set at the cusp of the digital revolution and follows a nine-year-old boy ensnared by the magic and science of light and shadow that lies behind celluloid film projection.”
The critically acclaimed film stars Bhavin Rabari, Bhavesh Shrimali, Richa Meena, Dipen Raval, and Paresh Mehta in prominent parts. While the film is yet to release in theatres, it premiered internationally at the Tribeca Film Festival in June 2021. The drama won numerous festival honors, including the Golden Spike at the 66th Valladolid Film Festival.
What are your thoughts on this? Do you think India’s Oscar choice is a missed opportunity? Let us know in the comments down below.