India’s entry for the Oscars has been decided, and it is debut filmmaker Gyan Correa’s The Good Road that has made it as an entry in the Best Foreign Film category. This National award winning Gujarati film about a small lost-and-found boy competed with films like The Lunchbox, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag, English Vinglish, Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroopam and Malayalam film Celluloid.
Gautam Ghosh, chairman of the Oscar selection committee said that there were 22 entries from different parts of the country to be considered for this, like The Lunchbox and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag “The 19 member jury had a 5 hour long discussion and then finally decided to select The Good Road. Even though it is a new film, the story explores a different side of India,” he added. The chairman also went on to admit that The Lunchbox was a strong contender.
The Good Road is produced by the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC) and is the first Gujarati film to be selected for a nomination. It stars Sonali Kulkarni and Ajay Gehi as the parents of the 7 year old boy Aditya(portrayed by Keval Katrodia).
Meanwhile, Anurag Kashyap and Karan Johar are evidently very upset and shocked about this decision. They expressed their views on Twitter as Karan tweeted just a little while after the decision came out, and so did Anurag. Karan tweeted, “Really shocked and disappointed…’The Lunchbox’ had every factor working in its favour. We may have just lost our golden chance… SAD.”
Anurag wrote on the social network, ”Feeling very, very disappointed. I can’t comment on the film which I have not seen, but it better make it to final five.” He went on to say, “I don’t know who the federation is. But it goes to show why we completely lack the understanding to make films that can travel across borders.”
Director Gyan Correa has reportedly worked on The Good Road for seven years before making the film with a small budget. He said, ”It is a very encouraging thing to see my film being selected. It is an honour.” He also added, ”I know many people were counting on The Lunchbox to be selected, and indeed Ritesh has made a brilliant film. I am enjoying my moment of happiness now.”
Actor Ajay Gehi was asked by the Times of India about his reaction to the nomination. He said that he believes the jury thought that the film is special enough to be selected. “I am trying to work hard and I was quite surprised and happy when I got to know about the selection of the film. I learned Gujarati for this film. I was also very happy when we won the National award for the best Gujarati film.” Talking about The Lunchbox, he said, ”I haven’t watched the film but I have heard some good reviews from people. I appreciate the film and the people who support it but I think the jury must have seen something in our film so I trust their decision. I am new in the industry to comment on anything else and I respect all opinions, but I would just say that people who are upset about The Good Road’s selection should watch the film.”
The Oscars will take place in March 2014.