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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

‘It’s time to rethink India’s Oscar entries’

Zia Haq, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 20, 2013
First Published: 00:11 IST(20/3/2013) | Last Updated: 00:13 IST(20/3/2013)

India should push nationally awarded films for the Oscars, a lead jury member who selected this year’s National Film Awards, Basu Chatterji, has told the HT.

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Films from the prestigious national awards, organised by the ministry of information and broadcasting, aren’t the ones usually sent for the Oscars.

India’s Oscar entries are mostly picked by a panel of judges appointed by a separate private entity, known as the Film Federation of India.

As India’s selections routinely get junked at the Academies, the country ends up with egg in its face.

“If there is a national jury, then why pick films from other panels? There is a different panel for the Oscars, as you know,” Chatterji, a well-known film-maker, told HT. Chatterji is known for his “warm” dramas about common people, such as Baton Baton Mein (1979).

Famed critic Derek Malcolm had told HT in an interview in November last year that the country should focus on “sending a decent, independent film more relevant to India” for the Oscars.

India’s recent Oscar nominations include Rang De Basanti (2006), Harischandrachi Factory (2009), Peepli Live (2010) and more recently, Barfi.

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