Chhello Show in Oscars: Cinema is a powerful cultural industry which can be a highly influential instrument to further a nation’s “soft power”. Japan and South Korea are prominent examples. They have built a strong image for their culture, tradition and language through the use of quality content in movies, animation and even in their songs. However, the Hindi Cinema Industry, dubbed as Bollywood, failed to project India’s true image to the audiences inside and outside the nation.
Bollywood movies did everything possible to cement a stereotype about India where love and poverty-ridden underdog stories took the centre stage. Apparently, Indian Film Fraternity too fuelled this stereotype. This is evident from their pathetic choices in picking India’s nomination to global famed film awards, Oscars.
Chhello Show: India’s nomination for Oscars 2023
The Film Federation of India (FFI) has officially announced to nominate a Gujarati film Chhello Show also known as The Last Film as India’s official entry to the Oscars 2023.
The FFI President TP Aggarwal stated that the film was chosen unanimously as India’s official entry for the 95th Oscars. The Award ceremony will be held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on March 12, 2023.
He said, “The 17-member jury unanimously chose ‘Chhello Show’. There [was] 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.”
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Directed by Pan Nalin, Chhello Show includes Bhavin Rabri, Richa Meena, Vikas Bata, Bhavesh Shrimali, Dipen Raval and Rahul Koli in the key roles. It is claimed that the film is inspired by the director’s love for Cinema when he grew up as a kid in Gujarat’s Saurashtra village. The film plot revolves around a young boy who loves Cinema. The nine-year-old gets into the theatre through bribery and spends his entire summer vacation watching movies from the projection booth.
Notably, Chhello Show was first premiered at the 20th Tribeca Film Festival in June 2021. In India, it will get a theatrical release on 14th of October, 2022. The movie won Golden Spike at the 66th Valladolid Film Festival in Spain 2021. Additionally, it was also nominated for Tiantan Awards at 11th Beijing International Film Festival 2021. It also won the top ‘Audience Award’ at the London Indian Film Festival.
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The film has been jointly produced by Siddharth Roy Kapur’s banner Roy Kapur Films and Chhello Show LLP among others. Previously, Nalin Kumar Pandya or Pan Nalin had directed films like Samsara, Angry Indian Goddesses and Valley of Flowers. Highly influenced by the Western paparazzi style, Pan Nalin reflects the misconstrued cool mentality in the nomenclature of its characters in his movie. Evidently, the names of the protagonist in his movie Angry Indian Goddesses seems to be driven by an inferiority complex for Indian names.
After its official nominations to the Oscars, certain netizens have accused it of being a complete copy of Italian movie Cinema Paradiso released in 1988. Some are flagging similarities in the posters of these two movies.
The jury of #FFI falters once again. Selects the film #ChhelloShow as India’s Oscar entry, which is a copy of #CinemaParadiso.
The basic rule of originality has been overlooked and the film will be rejected only because it’s a copy. Another opportunity lost.@ianuragthakur pic.twitter.com/5bna6RZ5C1
— Ashoke Pandit (@ashokepandit) September 20, 2022
Also Read: Global media is ensuring that RRR makes a grand entry at the Oscars
Ridiculous decision to send #ChhelloShow as the Indian entry for the Oscars. It is a self-indulgent movie that played to an empty cinema when I saw it at a festival. #RRRMovie and #JrNTR have generated so much buzz globally, and stood a real chance. 😡#RRRForOscars
— Asjad Nazir (@asjadnazir) September 20, 2022
It is important to note that the last Indian movie that made into the final list of Oscar nominations was Lagaan in 2001. Along with Lagaan, only three Indian movies have made it into the final nomination list of Oscars. Other two were Mother India in 1957 and Salaam Bombay! in 1988. Apparently, most of these official nominations for Oscars shamelessly sell the idea that India is not a strong nation. Such nominations reek of bias against India and show the nation in a negative light.
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