'Chhello Show' director opens up on Oscar row
October 08, 2022  12:25
India's cinema culture is star driven so he can understand the "panic" over his film Chhello Show being chosen as India's official entry for the Oscars, says director Pan Nalin. 

What he can't wrap his head around is accusations that it is a copy of Cinema Paradiso.
"What is disturbing is the false allegation which could seriously hamper our chances going forward. People have made comments without watching the film," Nalin told PTI.
The Gujarati language film is a coming-of-age drama about a young boy's romance with cinema in a village in Gujarat's Kathiawar region.  

The film's suitability as a contender for best foreign film at the 95th Academy Awards has been called into question by several social media users who were rooting for RRR or The Kashmir Files.
Besides, Nalin has also been accused by the Indian Film & Television Directors' Association and the Federation of Western India Cine Employees of plagiarism --  that Chhello Show is a copy of the 1988 Oscar-winning Italian-French film Cinema Paradiso.
"It must have been earth-shattering news for people who love certain stars," said the director in response to the extreme reaction to the movie's official selection by the Film Federation of India last month.
Titled Last Film Show in English, the film, starring debutant child actor Bhavin Rabari as Samay, premiered at the 2021 edition of the New York-set Tribeca Film Festival, which counts Hollywood veteran Robert De Niro as one of its founders.
"Our country is passionate about cinema so I don't blame people since many have not seen the film. At that time, they didn't know anything about it. Also, our cinematic culture is driven by stars, so there was panic," Nalin said.
"If it was a copy why would so many big studios around the world acquire it? Why would Robert De Niro's festival invite us to the red carpet opening?" he asked.
In June, he was invited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS) to join its director's branch as a member. Besides, big studios such as Shochiku (Japan) and Samuel Goldwyn Films (US) have bought the distribution rights of the film.
With Chhello Show set to be released in India next Friday by Roy Kapur Films, the director says he wants the movie to speak for itself.
"On October 14, people will know," he said.
Chhello Show is not just Nalin's love letter to the movies, It also serves as a reminder of analogue projectors amid cinema's rapidly increasing dependence on digital technology. 
« Back to LIVE