Gujarati film ‘The Good Road’ is India’s Oscar entry
‚ÄúThe Good Road‚ÄĚ, a Gujarati-language film, has been chosen as India‚Äôs entry to the 2014 Oscars, stealing attention from a critically acclaimed love story that was screened at the Cannes film festival this year.
Gyan Correa‚Äôs debut film about two children lost in the Kutch desert won a national award for best Gujarati-language film this year, but was a dark horse among the 22 movies in the running to be India‚Äôs official entry to the Oscars in the best foreign film category.
Expectations had been high for Ritesh Batra‚Äôs ‚ÄúThe Lunchbox‚ÄĚ, an Indian-French-German co-production that won the Grand Rail d’Or at Critics’ Week at Cannes in May.
Filmmaker Goutam Ghose, chairman of the 16-member jury appointed by the Film Federation of India, said the selectors felt ‚ÄúThe Good Road‚ÄĚ was the best choice.
‚ÄúIt was a fresh experience and a road film that showed a different kind of India,‚ÄĚ said Ghose, adding that ‚ÄúThe Lunchbox‚ÄĚ had been a strong contender on his short-list.
‚ÄúI have no clue how we are going to go ahead with it. I have no experience with this,‚ÄĚ Correa told Reuters.
‚ÄúI guess me and my producers will sit down and talk about it. If we win, great. If not, we live another day,‚ÄĚ he said.
Filmmaker Anurag Kashyap, one of the producers of ‚ÄúThe Lunchbox‚ÄĚ, took to Twitter to express his disappointment.
‚Äú‚Ä¶ it¬†goes to show, why we completely lack the understanding to make films that can travel across borders,‚ÄĚ Kashyap said.
An Indian film has never won the best foreign film Oscar, but “Lagaan”, “Salaam Bombay” and “Mother India” were shortlisted for the award. ‚ÄúLagaan‚ÄĚ was the last to make the cut in 2001.
Ghose said he had requested the Film Federation of India to write to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, asking them to consider at least five official Oscar entries from India next year.
‚ÄúWe have so many cultures and so many kinds of films being made. We have several mini-countries within one,‚ÄĚ he said.
(Follow Shilpa on Twitter @shilpajay)