Director Pan Nalin, whose film Chhello Show is India’s official entry for the 95th Academy Awards, has recalled director Ashutosh Gowariker’s reaction after watching the movie. In a new interview, he said that Ashutosh was ecstatic and told him ‘you are going to the Oscars’. Pan Nalin also said that it took him three-and-half years to make Chhello Show. (Also Read | Not RRR or Kashmir Files, Gujarati film Chhello Show is India’s official Oscars entry)
At the 74th Academy Awards, Ashutosh’s film Lagaan was nominated for best foreign language film. Lagaan (2001) is written and directed by Ashutosh and produced by Aamir Khan. The film stars Aamir, Gracy Singh, Rachel Shelley and Paul Blackthorne among others.
In an interview with Times of India, the Chhello Show director said, “Siddharth Roy Kapur was one of the first people in this industry who believed in this film. He said that he has produced Hindi films till today but shall now break that rule. And guess who was the first in this industry who in fact went ecstatic after seeing it! Ashutosh Gowariker. 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 (Today I remember it).”
Speaking about his film surpassing The Kashmir Files to become India’s official entry, Pan Naline said, “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.” Pan Nalin said that he hasn’t watched The Kashmir Files.
He also said that it was ‘really hard’ to get theatres to release Chhello Show in India. Pan Nalin added that many ‘big movies’ have been releasing since the past few weeks. He recalled telling his team that they should ‘go abroad and create awareness’.
A Gujarati film, Chhello Show is a coming-of-age drama about a young boy’s love affair with cinema in a village in Saurashtra. Film Federation of India (FFI) president TP Aggarwal said Chhello Show was unanimously chosen. Titled Last Film Show in English, the Pan Nalin-directorial will release in theatres countrywide on October 14.
The film is produced by Siddharth Roy Kapur’s banner Roy Kapur Films, Jugaad Motion Pictures, Monsoon Films, Chhello Show LLP and Marc Duale. Chhello Show features Bhavin Rabari, Vikas Bata, Richa Meena, Bhavesh Shrimali, Dipen Raval and Rahul Koli. It had its world premiere as the opening film at the Tribeca Film Festival in June last year.