Contrary to the popular consensus leaning towards RRR and The Kashmir Files, Pan Nalin’s Last Film Show, aka Chhello Show, will be representing India in the best international feature category at the upcoming 95th Academy Awards, and it has invoked mixed reactions.
Now, director and actor TS Nagabharana, who served as the head of the committee of selection for the Oscars, has reacted to the chatter, saying popularity can’t be the deciding factor.
“Everyone was expecting RRR to be the official selection from India, it is also a good film, there is no denying that. In fact, all the 13 films were good, but we had to select one, so koi toh disappoint hota hi,” Nagabharana tells us.
He continues, “The idea was to have a film which represents India in a different way. Chhello Show transcends the narrative of a regular Indian reality, and shows it in a broader sense, while tugging the emotional chords. Put that film anywhere in the world, and it will automatically connect with kids”.
But what do you have to say to the people who are slamming Film Federation of India (FFI) for ignoring the RRR and The Kashmir films?
“Do they mean to say that only marketing, entertainment value, mass reach or collection figures are the criteria for a film to make a mark at the Oscars? Who are these people? I am also an Indian. The story matters not the collection or popularity. If the film touches your heart, that is enough,” says the director.
On Tuesday, FFI announced that Chhello Show, set against the backdrop of cinemas in India that saw the transition from celluloid to digital, has been picked as India’s official entry to compete in the race to secure a nomination. It was picked out of 13 entries by a 17-member jury. He says, “All the films were good, and we went through them all. Finding the Chhello Show was a unanimous decision”.
Here, he shows confidence in the film. “I can’t comment about winning, but the film will make a mark at the Oscars next year. I am very confident about it. You wait and see,” he says while signing off.