Filmmaker Rahul Rawail has accused the Chairman of India’s Oscar jury, Amol Palekar, of being the main reason behind his quitting FFI’s jury that sends India’s entry to the Oscars. He’s also accused him of trying to manipulate votes.
The jury has sent débutant director Chaitanya Tamhane’s film Court as India’s official entry to the Oscars, but according to Rawail, Palekar never wanted the movie to make it to the final list. “Right from the beginning, our chairman Amol Palekar had only one agenda that Court shouldn’t come. He was adamant that Court should be removed from the list,” says Rawail, who called Palekar obnoxious in a tweet.
Rawail also said that Palekar constantly tried to push Court out of contention by saying that it had dialogues in English, a criteria considered by the Academy Awards committee.
However, Palekar chooses not to respond to Rawail’s claims. “All the jury members have given an undertaking to FFI to maintain confidentiality of the process. I don’t want to breach it just because someone who’s disgruntled chooses to do so. I’ll respond to this only if FFI asks me to,” says Palekar.
JP Chowksey, President, FFI, says, “Amol Palekar is correct in saying that he cannot talk about the procedure. I’ve come to Mumbai (from Delhi) for this matter. I’ll be able to give a clear picture only after speaking to Rawail and Palekar,” he says.
The industry feels we should concentrate on the movie and not bicker. Filmmaker Hansal Mehta says, “The FFI formed a committee and it made a decision. We should look at how to support Court at the Oscars rather than crying over spilt milk. Let’s look ahead.”
Actor Anupam Kher feels that difference in opinion is very common. “Without knowing the reason behind Rahul resigning, it wouldn’t be fair on my part to comment. But in a jury, anywhere in the world, deliberations are there. It happens everywhere, not just in India,” says Kher.
Watch the trailer for Court here