Director Anurag Basu always believed in the film he was making. Yet, he couldn’t believe the news when he heard that Barfi! had been picked as India’s official entry to the Academy Awards 2013 in the foreign-language film category.
Says the filmmaker, “There were lots of good films this year, from Paan Singh Tomar to Kahaani. It must have been really tough to select this one. I feel blessed. Filmmaking is not a one-man job. It’s one person’s vision, but it can go for a toss if you don’t have the right team.” Siddharth Roy Kapur, managing director of studios, Disney-UTV, hopes the jury will like Barfi!. He says, “One can’t really pinpoint what the jury will like, but look at the track record of the kind of films selected so far (in the foreign-language category). From Life Is Beautiful (1997) to Cinema Paradiso (1988), they have been emotional and uplifting films. Barfi! shows love transcending barriers. I think it stands a good chance.”
The industry, too, agrees that Barfi! is the right choice for the official entry. Filmmaker Mahesh Bhatt, whose film Saaransh (1984) was selected as the official entry in the past, says, “It’s a huge marketing exercise, since there are a number of films being watched and scrutinised. Barfi! is an extraordinary achievement for Anurag Basu.” Trade analyst Komal Nahta says, “It’s a very positive film, and it’s made very sensitively. It’s difficult to say if it will win without seeing the other films in the foreign film category.” Trade analyst Amod Mehra says, “For the first time, we are not trying to portray India. This is world cinema. Lagaan (2001) had a good chance to win. Now, after a decade, the right film has been selected.”
Updated music album for Barfi! The makers of Barfi! along with Sony Music are set to release an updated version of the film’s soundtrack. During the promotion of the movie, the makers had released a song called ‘Fatafati’ which was sung by Ranbir Kapoor. Another track called ‘Picture shuru’ — which also is a marketing gimmick — is being played in theatres before the film begins. It too, gained popularity. This new album, therefore, with include these two songs. “We believe netizens are sharing badly recorded versions of ’Picture shuru’ on YouTube. So yes, we will be releasing a second album which includes this song,” says Pritam, music composer. —Shalvi Mangaokar