FWICE demands Chhello Show to be scrapped as India’s official entry for Oscars, says ‘the jury chose a foreign film’


India’s official entry to the Oscars, Chhello Show has not pleased a lot of people who were rooting for SS Rajamouli’s RRR or Vivek Ranjan Agnihotri’s The Kashmir Files to make the cut. After fans expressed their disappointment with the selection, the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) has raised strong objections about the jury’s decision. The union has demanded that the Film Federation of India (FFI) reconsiders its decision alleging that Chhello Show is not even an Indian film and hence should not be considered. Chhello Show, released in English as Last Film Show, is a Gujarati coming-of-age drama film directed by Pan Nalin. The organization has claimed that Chhello Show is a foreign film and is not eligible to be India’s entry for Best International Feature Film at 95th Academy Awards.

FWICE President BN Tiwari told a news portal, “The film is not an Indian film and the process of selection is not correct. There were so many Indian films like RRR and The Kashmir Files but the jury chose a foreign film that has been bought by Siddharth Roy Kapur." He also raised eyebrows at the jury of the Film Federation of India (FFI) and said, “We want re-election of the films and the present jury be dissolved. Half of them are there for years and most of them don't watch the film and voting is done. If 'Last Film Show' is sent, it will reflect badly on India which is known to be an industry that makes maximum number of films."

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Reportedly, Tiwari said that FWICE will be writing to Information and Broadcasting minister Anurag Thakur voicing their objections to the selection. The film was selected out of 13 movies and was chosen by a 17-member jury who said that a film’s popularity is not the criteria for its selection to represent India at the coveted Oscars. Head of the committee of selection for Oscars, director and actor TS Nagabharana counter-questioned the allegations and told a portal, “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."

Pan Nalin’s Chhello Show follows a 9-year-old boy who falls in love with cinema for life. Nalin has said that the film is part autobiographical as he was enamored by cinema as a child and made it his passion later in life. The film is shot in Saurashtra in Gujarat where Nalin was born and brought up. Chhello Show has already received rave reviews and awards at several prestigious film festivals around the world.

(Source: ETimes/Hindustan Times)

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