There has been a lot of speculation recently about The Good Road being selected as the Indian entry for the Oscars, and the Film Federation of India(FFI) sent a letter to Lunchbox director Ritesh Batra asking for an apology for ‘demeaning a film when an eminent jury has selected it’. As reported by the Hindustan Times, FFI secretary Supran Sen wrote to Batra, “We have been hearing and reading about your various unsavoury comments either through the film industry grapevine or through your Twitter /Facebook posts about the selection of The Good Road for Oscar. As a citizen of a democratic country you have every right to express yourself, but when a certain boundary is crossed time and again, one cannot take it lying down.”
Ritesh Batra responded to the letter stating that he had no intent of hurting anyone’s sentiments when he expressed his views. He wrote, ”Many industry stalwarts have made comments similar to mine but you sent the letter to me, a debutant filmmaker, but I am honoured and proud to speak for my film and team. If an apology is what you demand, you have it. Both you and the jury have my whole hearted apology. There was no intent to hurt anyone, but rather to participate in the vigorous debate that this decision ignited in the public domain.”
He also requested for a new selection policy and wrote,” I sincerely hope that the annual reactions to our Academy selections from the national press, and this year from even the international press, prompt a new policy for the selection. Sir, please use your good offices to give us a transparent, objective process with a public and not a secret jury. It is a direct and humble request, not a criticism.”
Gyan Correa’s The Good Road has been selected as the Indian entry in the Best Foreign Film category for Oscars 2014.