Actor Anupam Kher is overwhelmed that the story of The Kashmir Files (2022) is taking a global flight as the film has a shot at earning an Oscar nomination after getting eligible. In fact, he feels it is an answer to all the people questioning the genuineness of the subject.
“It is a shortlisting, not a nomination. But the thousand mile journey is done by taking the first step. It’s a great feeling. The film is not just cinema, a story of all those people who suffered because of the genocide. It was a very personal subject for me, and became more personal after some people questioned the intention of the filmmaker and the people involved with it,” Kher tells us.
The 67-year-old adds, “I’m equally thrilled about getting shortlisted. It is the beginning of a big dream. I’m from a small town, who came to Bombay, and now to get shortlisted for the performance of a film.. It is a humbling feeling”.
In fact, the actor feels the film getting noticed by the Academy is also a nod to the “glory of Indian cinema”, adding, “We represent not only those people who were thrown out of their homes in Kashmir, but also the 1.4 billion people”.
Along with The Kashmir Files, other films including RRR, Gangubai Kathiawadi, Kantara and Chhello Show (Last Film Show) have been named in the list of 301 films eligible for the Oscar nominations. Kher says, “I will wish and pray that it gets nominated, but I am equally happy and proud of the other four films, which have been shortlisted. In the end, it is Indian cinema which is at the global stage.”
Also featuring Mithun Chakraborty, Darshan Kumar, and Pallavi Joshi, The Kashmir Files opened a chapter of 1990 exodus and killings of Kashmir Pandits on the screen. While the film worked at the box office, many critics called it ‘propaganda’ and misappropriation of facts.
Now, Kher feels getting shortlisted is an answer to the authenticity of the story.
“For the past 32 years, people kept it under the carpet. When the story arrived, everybody sort of tried to be like ‘this did not happen’. When the film was accepted by the people, certain people and certain elements tried to derail that genuineness of the film. It is a slap on their face also. Because I believe that truth finally triumphs,” he says, sharing, “I’m glad that this has happened”.
Opening up about his thoughts, Kher mentions, “It was not a regular film, which became successful artistically and commercially. It has seen so much ups and downs. Even though it got a lot of success, people still called it a propaganda film or agenda film, It is an answer to them, not that we are required to give them an answer. But it is the world who has given them the answer”.
The actor is planning to sit and discuss the plan ahead with director Vivek Agnihotri. “We will see how we go about it and how we can work on it. One is always biassed to your own child. So I will want The Kashmir Files to get nominated, but I will be truly happy and proud if any of the shortlisted Indian films makes the cut,” ends Kher, who was also seen in Uunchai and Karthikeya 2 last year.