Guneet Monga calls for better strategy to select India’s Oscar entry - Hindustan Times
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Guneet Monga calls for better strategy to select India’s Oscar entry

ByGerard de Souza
Nov 23, 2023 11:50 PM IST

Gurneet Monga called on the selection committee to choose films that are distributed in America and have travelled to film festivals across the world

Oscar winning film producer Gurneet Monga called for a better selection process in choosing India’s official entry for the Oscar to give the country the best chance of winning the prestigious award.

Oscar winning film producer Gurneet Monga. (File)
Oscar winning film producer Gurneet Monga. (File)

Speaking at a conversation session at the 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI), currently underway in Goa, Monga, who produced the academy award winning documentary short film, The Elephant Whisperers, called on the selection committee to choose films that are distributed in America, have travelled to film festivals across the world and have attained global acclaim and awards at these festivals.

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“A lot of education needs to be done on what to send and why to send. Films distributed in the US have a much higher chance of winning, because it is an American award. For years we have not been doing this right. You can’t be selected and then suddenly try to campaign for your film in two months, it’s just not possible. (We have to ask) did it (the film) do festivals, did it win awards, in what category,” Monga said.

On the other hand, academy award winning sound designer Resul Pookutty argued that the film that is India’s official entry for the award should not be the one that necessarily has the best chances of winning but rather one that best represents the country that year.

Pookutty called on the Government of India to set up a fund that will bring on board a panel of publicists that can promote the film that is ultimately selected from India.

“That will give even independently produced films from a corner of India a chance,” he said.

Earlier in the day, filmmaker and director Ketan Anand expressed his happiness at seeing his father’s film, Haqeeqat, being brought to life in a restored form at the IFFI and announced that he will be shortly producing a sequel taking forward from where his father’s film left off.

Speaking at a press conference, Anand said it was important from a historical and archival point of view that the current generation is able to appreciate historical films that have been carefully restored by the National Film Heritage Mission and the National Film Archive of India.

“They have taken the print version and restored it, this is a remarkable technology and a tedious process that involves frame by frame restoration,” Anand said.

Ketan Anand announced that a sequel to the acclaimed film, which was set against the premise of Sino-Indian War of 1962 was on its way.

“When I first watched my father’s film, I asked him, why is there no line signifying the end of the film or why didn’t you just play the credits? And he told me: ‘You think this is over?’ They will come back. And you saw that 50 years later in Pulwama, they came back,” Anand said.

“The small boy you saw in the first film, he’s now a retired army major and the film takes off from where the last film ended,” Anand said.

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