India's Oscar hunt hinges on Rs 2 crore

National Award winning director for Adaminte Makan Abu, Salim Ahmed, struggles for funds to promote his film. Ramesh Babu reports.Why he needs money

india Updated: Dec 22, 2011 02:41 IST
Ramesh Babu
Ramesh Babu
Hindustan Times

He’s been there, done that. Now, he has to go there and do that again.

Salim Ahmed (39) spent his life’s savings and borrowed money from friends to raise Rs 1 crore to make Adaminte Makan Abu, the Malayalam movie made on a shoestring budget that went on to become the surprise National Award winner in May 2011.

Now, he’s again scrounging for funds. Ahmed’s debut creation is India’s official entry in the Best Film in a foreign language category at the 84th edition of the Oscars on February 26 next year.

He needs Rs 2 crore to promote his film with the 6,000 members of the US-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences who will judge his film and vote for the winner.

That’s Rs 2 crore more than he has.

“I find it difficult to manage funds,” said Ahmed, who worked with various travel firms before he could fund his dream project.

He is now knocking on whichever door he can find, including that of the government, but the response has been lukewarm.

Friends are pitching in again as is Oscar-winning sound engineer Resul Pookutty, who has done the film’s sound re-design and re-mix free of cost.

Ahmed recently met Hindi film actor Aamir Khan to seek his advice.

“Aamir’s Lagaan was an official entry for Oscars in 2002. He gave me a few tips and wished all success,” Ahmed said.

First Published: Dec 22, 2011 01:49 IST