Ever since the Film Federation of India (FFI) selected Pan Nalin’s Gujarati film Chhello Show as India’s official entry for the Best International Feature Film category at the 95th Academy Awards, the film hasn’t left the headlines. From many demanding the likes of SS Rajamouli’s RRR and Vivek Agnihotri’s The Kashmir Files being better choices to accusations like the film not being Indian or original have also made the news.
For the unversed, the Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) recently claimed that the Pan Nalin film is not even an Indian film and also implied that it could be a copy of the Oscar-winning Italian film Cinema Paradiso (1998). Now the FFI has reacted to the numerous objections to its decision. Read on to know what its president has to say.
During a recent conversation with Indian Express, rejecting FFI president TP Aggarwal sternly rejected FWICE’s claims that Chhello Show is a copy of Cinema Paradiso. He said, “No, I had asked the jury members, they’ve seen the picture so many times and they said no (it is not a copy). Not a single scene is similar in the film. It can be inspired by that, but it is not a copy.”
In their accusation, the FWICE also stated that Chhello Show is primarily produced by foreign studios and its major producer Orange Studios is also a foreign studio and hence shouldn’t be considered Hindi. On being asked why the film released in English as Last Film Show is being considered Indian,0 TP Aggarwal told the publication, “I cannot say anything about that, I am not sure about it.”
Apart from the above two claims against the Pan Nalin film, the FWICE also noted that the film was released in 2021 and cannot be qualified for Oscars 2023. To this, Aggarwal said, “The Film Federation of India has already taken the permission from the Academy if this film can be shown this year or not. Because last year the film has not released, you have to release the picture that’s why it didn’t go last year.”
Talking about Chhello Show, the Gujarati language film follows a nine-year-old boy in Gujarat as he falls in love with cinema for life. The story is based in Saurashtra, Gujarat and is said to be semi-autobiographical, as Pan Nalin was also born and brought up in Saurashtra.
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