India has submitted the Gujarati film 'The Good Road' for the Foreign Language Film category at the Oscars, discarding the widely expected film 'The Lunchbox'.
'The Good Road' had won the award for Best Gujarati film at the 60th National Film Awards this year.
Produced by the National Film Development Corporation (NFDC), 'The Good Road' is about two children who lose their way in the Great Rann of Kutch.
"It was a unanimous decision to select The Good Road," filmmaker Goutam Ghose, who headed the selection committee appointed by the Film Federation of India (FFI), told Mid Day.
The selection of the film, however, disappointed 'The Lunchbox' director Ritesh Batra and producer Anurag Kashyap.
Batra and Kashyap have criticised the selection committee over their decision to choose 'The Good Road' as India's official entry for the Oscars.
Batra tweeted: "Congrats to The Good Road, hope it makes it all the way, else it will be a lost chance by FFI apptd (Film Federation of India appointed) jury that lacks vision. Hope I am wrong."
Kashyap said he was disappointed after the Gujarati film was selected over 'The Lunchbox' which features actors Irrfan Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in the lead roles.
"Feeling very very disappointed, can't comment on the film i have not seen, but it better make it to final five," Kashyap tweeted.
"I dont know who the federation is.but it goes to show, why we completely lack the understanding to make films that can travel across borders," he said.
"I hope and pray i am wrong and it actually is a film that knocks the socks off everyone..We should then make a clean policy,you want to send the best film, then send the national award winner.or send the one most likely to win," Kashyap posted on his Twitter homepage.
"First time and i really mean it First time i really was excited beacuse first time we knew we had a chance, first time i was waiting for it...Now i feel like crying in desperate frustration.. and i believe there were some very wise people on the jury," he said.
Director-producer Karan Johar, who turned presenter for 'The Lunchbox', had expressed his shock and disappointment over the rejection of their film for the Oscars nomination.
"Really shocked and dissapointed....#LUNCHBOX had every factor working in its favour...we may have just lost our golden chance....SAD!!!" Johar tweeted.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi expressed his delight over the selection of the movie.
"Delighted to know that Gujarati film 'The Good Road' has been chosen to represent India at Oscars. Congrats to cast and crew. My best wishes," Modi tweeted.
Actor Rahul Bose posted on his Twitter homepage: "Been hearing only good things from some who've seen 'The Good Road'. That's a relief. Now there are 2 must watches. #TheLunchbox and this one!"
'The Lunchbox' hit the silver screen on Friday.
--IBNS (Posted on 23-09-2013)