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Chhello Show producer Siddharth Roy Kapur on IFTDA, FWICE calling the film a copy of Cinema Paradiso, demanding it shouldn’t be sent to Oscars

Film producer Siddharth Roy Kapur hopes Chhello Show (The Last Film Show) will draw the audiences to cinema halls as people want to know more about India's official entry to the Oscars this year.

Siddharth Roy Kapur- Chhello Show- The Last Film ShowSiddharth Roy Kapur has backed Chhello Show (The Last Film Show). (Photos: Roy Kapur Films/ Instagram)

Chhello Show or the Last Film Show, a Gujarati film that is India’s official entry to Oscars this year, celebrates childhood and the joys and wonder of discovering new things. However, Indian Film & Television Directors’ Association (IFTDA) and Federation of Western India Cine Employees (FWICE) have demanded the film’s selection for the Oscars should be reversed, and have alleged it’s a copy of Italian film Cinema Paradiso (1988), which won an Academy Award in the best international feature film category.

In an interview with indianexpress.com, the film’s producer Siddharth Roy Kapur responds to the allegations by IFTDA and FWICE and shares the timeline of his association with the film. Kapur also discusses how he is planning the promotional campaign of the film for the members of the Academy.

Reacting to Chhello Show being called a copy of Italian film Cinema Paradiso, Siddharth Roy Kapur said, “I think we should look at the future since we’re representing India now and we’ve been selected by the Film Federation of India (FFI). We’re honoured and privileged to be given the responsibility to represent our country. Film is such a subjective medium, and everyone will have an opinion on it, nothing is black or white. There’s a jury that was put together and they selected us. We will do our best to bring glory to the country, that’s where I’d like to leave it. It is a free country and everyone is entitled to an opinion. We are passionate people and films is a passionate business, so I think it is only right for people have passions when they believe in one movie over another, there’s really nothing wrong in that.”

Siddharth watched the film much before it was selected as India’s official entry to the Oscars this year, and he wants everyone to watch the film and fall in love with the cinemas again.

He says, “After Nalin shot the film, I had the opportunity to watch it and fell in love with it. I’m sure the audience will fall in love with it as well. The journey from there has really been about distributing the film in India. We announced the release date of the film as October 14 and we were really fortunate to be selected as India’s official selection a few weeks earlier, that primes us really well to generate as much curiosity as possible with the Indian audience with everyone wanting to know what is this film all about.”

Kapur has been associated with films like Peepli Live (2010) and Barfi (2012), that have been chosen as India’s official entries at the Oscars. Kapur, here shares a timeline of his association with the Pan Nalin directorial and breaks down the campaign to promote the Bhavin Rabari starrer in the West and make it Oscar ready.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of many films that have been India’s official selection in the last decade. A lot of people talk about lobbying and make it sound like a deep dark secret and a lot of smoke and mirrors, but it really is about getting as many members of the Academy to watch you film as possible. It really boils down to that. Because they’re the ones who’re going to vote for you and they’re the ones who need to watch your film. We’re very proud of the film that we’re representing and we’re happy for our film to speak for itself,” shares Kapur.

Revealing details on his partners who will represent his film in the United States of America and Europe, Kapur shares, “Our main aim is going to be to get as many members of the academy to watch the film as possible. We’ve got some of the best people representing us. We’ve got Samuel Goldwyn Films in the US and Orange Studio in Europe. Between the two of them, they’re going to be able to help to get the message out there in the best way.”

Kapur is excited to distribute Chhello Show in India, as it celebrates the magic of movies. “Across the world, we’ve started speaking about giving the audience a theatrical experience, a cinematic experience, to get them back to the cinema hall. Chhello Show actually celebrates the cinematic experience and I don’t think there will be a more apt time for a film like this than now. We’re making people realise once again, remind them, how they fell in love with movies in a darkened cinema halls in the first place. So, while the star system exists, a lot of the recent movies draw audiences because of the value in the storytelling and the fact that they’re so cinematic. I think Chhello Show is one of the films that when you watch it, you’ll realise how there is nowhere else to see it but in a cinema hall,” Kapur concludes.


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First published on: 04-10-2022 at 14:15 IST
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