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Oscar entry Chhello Show not a copy of Cinema Paradiso: FFI president- Cinema express

Oscar entry Chhello Show not a copy of Cinema Paradiso: FFI president

‘It can be inspired by that, but it is not a copy,’ said TP Aggarwal

Published: 25th September 2022

The Federation of Western Indian Cine Employees (FWICE) had recently claimed that Chhello Show (The Last Film Show), a Gujarati film which is India’s official entry to the Oscars, is a copy of the Academy Award-winning Italian film Cinema Paradiso (1988). As per a report, the Film Federation of India (FFI) president TP Aggarwal has rejected the claim.

Talking to indianexpress.com, Aggarwal explained how the Pan Nalin directorial was selected.

“FFI is 100% correct in this way because this was the decision of 17 jury members. When we showed them the film, I had not seen it because as the president I’m not supposed to see the picture. We asked them to rate the films as number 1, number 2 and number 3. They, however, said there is no number 1 or number 2, this is the only picture we want to send for Oscars,” he said.

He also refuted the claims that Chhello Show is a copy of Cinema Paradiso. He said, “No, I had asked the jury members. They’ve seen the picture so many times and they said no (it is not a copy). Not a single scene is similar in the film. It can be inspired by that, but it is not a copy.”

FWICE had also brought up the fact that the film was in contention last year as well. On this, Aggarwal said, “The Film Federation of India has already taken the permission from the Academy if this film can be shown this year or not. Because last year the film had not been released, you have to release the picture, that's why it didn’t go last year.”

FWICE had also questioned why Chhello Show was being considered as an Indian film as it has been produced by international studios. On this, Aggarwal said, “I cannot say anything about that. I am not sure about it.”

SS Rajamouli’s RRR and Vivek Agnihotri’s The Kashmir Files were considered fan favourites for the selection. On this, Aggarwal said, “The Kashmir Files and RRR were nowhere in front of this. The jury wanted this film only. They said there was no second or third film.”

The jury that selected Chhello Show as India’s official entry to the Oscars included filmmaker TS Nagabharana (chairman), filmmaker Sangeeth Sivan, music composer Jatin Pandit, costume designer Nikhat Mariyam Neerushaa, producer Anjan Bose, sound recordist Mandar Kamalapurkar, editor Prateek Gupta, and others.

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