Filmmaker Rahul Rawail, a part of the 17-member jury that chose Chaitanya Tamhane’s directorial debut Court as India’s official entry for the Oscars, resigned from the panel over differences with jury chairperson Amol Palekar.
"Just want to clarify that I am proud of
and fully support its selection. I resigned from the Oscar jury because of Mr Palekar’s obnoxious behaviour,” Rawail tweeted just after the announcement about the selection of Court. Rawail has made films like Love Story, Betaab, Anjaam and Aur Pyaar Ho Gaya.
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Jst wanna clarify tht am proud of Court n fully support its selection I resigned from th Oscar jury bcoz of Mr Palekars obnoxious behaviour
— rahul rawail (@RahulRawail)
“I’ve been hearing that people feel that I was not happy with Court being selected. It is false. I am very happy with Court and I’m proud of it,” Rawail said of the movie, which even won the National Film Award in the Best Feature Film category for 2014. “I’m proud that we had a great jury and some wonderful people who have a great knowledge of cinema and love for it... There was no issue in that, but yes there was one manipulative man. His name is Amol Palekar, who is the chairman of the jury. He is a complete manipulative person.”
However, Rawail -- who has directed films like Jo Bole So Nihaal and Aur Pyar Ho Gaya -- clarified that he is not blaming Amol for manipulating for Court. “It is not that he manipulated for Court. People are saying that Amol must have manipulated for Court because Court is a Marathi film. That is wrong,” Rawail said and added that Amol’s “general conducting of proceeding was often manipulative”.
The Film Federation of India (FFI), which selects the country’s official entry in the Best Foreign Film category of the prestigious Academy Awards, to be held in Los Angeles on February 28 next year, appointed Amol as the chairman earlier this year. Amol’s own directorial venture Paheli was chosen as India’s official entry for the Academy Awards in 2005. But it failed to make the cut to the final nomination list.
Palekar could not be reached for a comment but Supran Sen, secretary general of Film Federation of India (FFI), which selects the Oscar entry, called Rawail’s claims “ridiculous”. “Court was a unanimous decision. You can manipulate one or two people not all the members of the jury. I think they had a personal problem and it does not have to do with Court. His statement is ridiculous,” Sen told PTI when asked whether Rawail was angry at Palekar for pushing the Marathi film.