Despite the rumoured 80-crore rupee campaign in Los Angeles, not to mention its baffling entry into the list of the year’s best of some top international publications, Rajamouli’s RRR has failed to make it to the shortlist for the Oscars’ Best International Film nominations list. As consolation, M M Keeravani’s song Naatu has been nominated in the list of 15 songs for the Oscar.This list will be further whittled down from 15 to 5 next month.
This is a huge snub for RRR. For the last three months, Rajamouli had been relentlessly lobbying in LA for a backdoor entry into the Oscars. All his hopes are dashed to the ground, although he is hoping that RRR will make it into some of the mainstream nomination lists for the Oscars. This seems far-fetched if not impossible.
Pan Nalin’s Chhello Last Show, a coming-of-age fable of a boy in a village in Gujarat dreaming about making films, is not short of a miracle. The producers and the director had no budget for a proper campaign in LA. As if this was not a big enough hurdle, a smearing campaign against the film was launched to discredit Chhello Last Show after it was selected as India’s official entry to the Oscars.
When will ever learn to celebrate a true triumph when it stares us in our face?
Reacting to the selection of their film among the fifteen nominations for the Oscar in the Best International Film category, Producer Siddharth Roy Kapur, producer Dheer Momaya and director Pan Nalin jointly said, “We are humbled and overjoyed that our heartfelt ode to the cinematic medium Last Film Show (Chhello Show) has been recognized by the world’s preeminent awards body, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Ever since our selection by the Film Federation of India as India’s Official Entry to the 95th Oscars, we knew in our hearts that the film was bound for something special. We would like to thank the FFI, the millions of people who watched and admired Chhello Show, as well as our international distributors who gave the film a well-deserved push. This is a historic moment for India and we hope to bring the Oscar home very soon.”
Chhello Last Show will now have to compete with the likes of Lukas Dhont’s Belgian masterpiece Close and Ali Abbasi’s Iranian Holy Spider in the Oscars’ shortlist.