On Tuesday, it was announced that the Gujarati film Chhello Show (Last Film Show) is India’s official entry for the 95th Academy Awards. The move was surprising for many believed that either SS Rajamouli’s RRR or Vivek Agnihotri’s The Kashmir Files would make it to the Oscars 2023. While Agnihotri congratulated Chhello Show, Rajamouli is yet to react to the Oscar snub. Meanwhile, the Gujarati film’s director Pan Nalin weighed on being picked for the Oscars.
Speaking in an interview post the announcement, Nalin confessed that while he wouldn’t be able to comment on how the film edged out RRR and The Kashmir Files, he presumes that his film must have ‘pleasantly surprised’ the jury.
“I am sorry; I can’t comment on that. It’s a question to the jury which comprised 17 people. It was a unanimous choice. I can assume the reason to be only the fact that the jury was pleasantly surprised with my film. They had seen the other films which the media was talking about since 2 days, as India’s Oscar entry- ‘The Kashmir Files’, ‘RRR’ and ‘Gangubai Kathiawadi’,” he told ETimes.
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The filmmaker added that Lagaan director Ashutosh Gowariker had predicted Chhello Show would head for the Oscars five months ago. “He said: Pack your bags, you guys are going to the Oscars. This happened 5 months ago. We laughed then and forgot about it. Aaj yaad aa raha hai,” Nalin said.
Chhello Show (The Last Show) is directed by Pan Nalin and stars Bhavin Rabari, Bhavesh Shrimali, Richa Meena, Dipen Raval and Paresh Mehta in key roles. It will be released in theatres on October 14 this year. The coming-of-age drama is set in Gujarat, where Nalin was raised. The film revolves around a nine-year-old boy named Samay, who is inspired by cinema and works hard to achieve his dream. However, he is unaware of the social pressures and economic insecurities. The film is said to be inspired by the director Nalin’s life.