A regional Gujarati film ‘Chhello Show’, coming-of-age drama has led India to enter into the prestigious spotlight after ages. The movie is about a young boy’s love affair with cinema in a village in Saurashtra.
FFI Secretary General Supran Sen told PTI, “Chhello Show’ is India’s official entry for Oscars 2023,”. The film, will be representing the country in the best international feature film category at the Oscars. The 95th Academy Awards are scheduled to take place on March 12, 2023 in Los Angeles.
The movie has been dubbed into English with the title ‘Last Film Show’, under the direction of the Pan Nalin that will release in theatres countrywide on October 14.
According to FFI president TP Aggarwal, ‘Chhello Show’ was unanimously chosen over films such as SS Rajamouli’s “RRR”, Ranbir Kapoor-led “Brahmastra: Part One Shiva”, Vivek Agnihotri’s ‘The Kashmir Files’ and R Madhavan’s directorial debut “Rocketry”.
“The 17-member jury unanimously chose ‘Chhello Show’. There were a total of 13 films of different languages including six in Hindi — ‘Brahmastra’, ‘The Kashmir Files’, ‘Anek’, ‘Jhund’, ‘Badhaai Do’ and ‘Rocketry’ — and one each in Tamil (‘Iravin Nizhal’), Telugu (‘RRR’), Bengali (‘Aparajito’) and Gujarati (‘Chhello Show’) as well as few others,” Aggarwal told PTI.
Chello Show js produced by Siddharth Roy Kapur’s banner Roy Kapur Films, Jugaad Motion Pictures, Monsoon Films, Chhello Show LLP and Marc Duale. The story is inspired by Nalin’s own memories of falling in love with movies as a child in rural Gujarat.
In a press note, the FFI said, “Chhello’ Show” is a film that transcends the banal narrative of the regular Indian reality shown abroad and touches the emotional chords of every film buff around the world. “The narrative is impactful, with cinematic moments captured in great details, captivating performances, visual beauty and auditory effects,”
“It showcases the Indian nuances and heritages subtly and truthfully which be an eye opener for the foreign audience.It begins innovatively and ends with a ray of hope,” it added.
A source reveals, “Set in a remote rural village of Saurashtra, the film follows the story of a nine-year-old boy who begins a lifelong love affair with cinema when he bribes his way into a rundown movie palace and spends a summer watching movies from the projection booth. Nalin, best known for directing critically-acclaimed films “Samsara”, ‘Valley of Flowers’ and ‘Angry Indian Goddesses’, expressed his gratitude to the FFI and the selection jury.”
“I could have never imagined such a day would come and bring light and celebration of light. ‘Chhello Show’ has been enjoying love from around the world but there was an ache in my heart that how do I make India discover it? Now I can breathe again and believe in cinema that entertains, inspires and enlightens! Thank you FFI, Thank you Jury,” the director said in a statement
“There could not be a more apt time for a film like this one, that celebrates the magic and wonder of cinema and the theatrical experience. When cinema-going around the world has been disrupted by a pandemic, it reminds audiences anew of the first time they fell in love with the experience of watching a movie in a darkened cinema hall,” the producer said.
Last year, Tamil drama ‘Koozhangal’ (Pebbles), directed by filmmaker Vinothraj PS, was India’s official entry at the Oscars but didn’t make the shortlist. The last Indian film that made it to the final five was the Aamir Khan-led “Lagaan” in 2001. ‘Mother India’ (1958) and ‘Salaam Bombay’ (1989) are the other two Indian movies to have made it to the top five.
‘Chhello Show’, features Bhavin Rabari, Vikas Bata, Richa Meena, Bhavesh Shrimali, Dipen Raval and Rahul Koli, had its world premiere as the opening film at the Tribeca Film Festival in June last year.