Gujarati film ‘Last Film Show’ (‘Chhello Show’) is India’s official entry to the Best International Feature Film category of the 95th Academy Awards.
The filmmaker behind it, Pan Nalin, is flying high since the announcement this week:
”I could have never imagined such a day would come and bring light and celebration of light. ‘Chhello Show’ has been enjoying love from around the world but there was an ache in my heart that how do I make India discover it?
“Now I can breathe again and believe in cinema that entertains, inspires and enlightens! Thank you FFI, Thank you Jury. “
Nalin is best known for directing award-winning and visually striking films such as ‘Samsara’, ‘Valley of Flowers’, ‘Angry Indian Goddesses’ and ‘Ayurveda: Art of Being’. Chhello Show is a part-autobiographical drama that captures the charm of the western region of Gujarat while paying homage to the cinema of the past. It is a reminder of childhood innocence and the universal magic of the movies.
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Producer Siddharth Roy Kapur says: “We are thrilled and honoured that our film, ‘Last Film Show’ has been selected to represent India at the Academy Awards. There could not be a more apt time for a film like this one, that celebrates the magic and wonder of cinema and the theatrical experience.
“When cinema-going around the world has been disrupted by a pandemic, it reminds audiences anew of the first time they fell in love with the experience of watching a movie in a darkened cinema hall. It is a matter of great pride for us to represent our country with this film, and with the backing of our partners Samuel Goldwyn Films and Orange Studio, we will make sure that we give it our best shot at the Academy Awards!”
The film stars Bhavin Rabari, Vikas Bata, Richa Meena, Bhavesh Shrimali, Dipen Raval and Rahul Koli. The story is set against the backdrop of cinemas in India witnessing a massive transition from celluloid to digital, where hundreds of single-screen cinemas stand dilapidated or have disappeared altogether.
Producer Dheer Momaya adds: “We are very excited, this is just a first step. We aim to get a nomination and eventually win. Hoping we can make our country proud!”
‘Last Film Show’ (Chhello Show) had its world premiere as the opening film at Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Film Festival and has won multiple awards across various international film festivals, including the Golden Spike at the 66th Valladolid Film Festival in Spain, where it also enjoyed commercial success during its theatrical run.
Having captured the hearts of critics and audiences across the world, the Gujarati-language coming-of-age drama will release in theatres in Gujarat and on select screens across India on October 14.
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Samuel Goldwyn Films and Orange Studio serve as international distributors for the US and European markets, respectively. Meanwhile, legendary Shochiku Studios serves as the Japanese distributor, while the esteemed Medusa will bring ‘Last Film Show’ to Italian cinemas.
The film is produced by Roy Kapur Films, Jugaad Motion Pictures, Monsoon Films, Chhello Show LLP, and Marc Duale.