FFI jury member reacts to Sardar Udham-Oscars row: ‘How many Indian films have won an Oscar? Zero'
- Vicky Kaushal's Sardar Udham was not selected as India's official entry for the 2022 Oscars ceremony. However, a controversy has erupted after the FFI jury member made comments about it.
A few members of Film Federation of India (FFI) jury--which chose India's official entry for the Academy Awards--have reacted to their co-jury member Indraadip Dasgupta's recent comments on why Sardar Udham did not make the cut. Indraadip had said that the film, based on the assassination of Michael O'Dwyer by Sardar Udham Singh, projected ‘our hatred towards the British’, which he deemed ‘unfair’ in the ‘era of globalisation’.
Indraadip's comment earned him and the jury a lot of flak on social media, with many calling it 'imperialism hangover' and ‘racism’. Now, in an interview with The Print, another jury member, Malayali filmmaker Shaji N Karun has reacted to the row.
Shaji said that Tamil film Koozhangal was 'best of the lot. “For me, personally, choosing a film nomination for the Oscars is like strategising to win an Olympic match. The jury agreed that this film had great cinematic content, and has the strength, capability and contestability to win at the Oscars. This is not a National Award nomination. We have to pick a film that will stand out among nominations coming from 92 countries," he said.
He added, “How many Indian films have won an Oscar? Zero. There’s a reason behind that. One has to strategise and pick a film we think will match the sensibilities of the jury at the Academy awards." Bengali actor Ananya Chatterjee, also part of the jury, called Indraadip's a ‘personal statement’. “I can say this is not the opinion of all of us,” she said.
Indraadip Dasgupta had told a leading daily, “Sardar Udham is a little lengthy and harps on the Jallianwala Bagh incident. It is an honest effort to make a lavish film on an unsung hero of the Indian freedom struggle. But in the process, it again projects our hatred towards the British. In this era of globalization, it is not fair to hold on to this hatred.”
Other films in the fray were Shershah (Hindi), Sherni (Hindi), Bridge (Assamese), Kaagaz (Hindi), Atta Vel Zaali (Marathi), Toofan (Hindi), Godavari (Marathi), Chello Show (Gujarati), Nayattu (Malayalam), Laila Aur Saat Geet (Gojri), and Karkhanisanchi Waari (Marathi).
Sardar Udham director Shoojit Sircar had also reacted to Indraadip's comment. As per a News18 report, Shoojit said at a media interaction, “It is a personal opinion, it is very subjective, I have no comment on that. I respect the jury and their decision. The film that was finally selected, I know about it, and I am glad that it was chosen. I go by the jury’s decision."