New York: Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s ‘Eklavya, The Royal Guard´, India’s controversy-marred entry to the Oscars, has failed to make it to the nine top movies in contention for the prestigious award in foreign-language film category.
Amitabh Bachchan in Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s Eklavya
The Amitabh Bachchan-starrer was among 63 entries from various countries but could not make it to the first shortlist.
In the running for the five final nominations are Austria’s ‘The Counterfeiters´, Canada’s ‘Days of Darkness´, Israel’s ‘Beaufort´, Italy’s ‘The Unknown Woman´, Kazakhstan’s ‘Mongol´, Poland’s ‘Katyn´, Russia’s ’12’, Brazil’s ‘The Year My Parents Went on Vacation´, and Serbia’s ‘The Trap.´
The movie, which also stars Saif Ali Khan, Sharmila Tagore, Sanjay Dutt, Vidya Balan and Jackie Shroff, marked Chopra’s return to directing after seven years. His two other films ‘Parinda´ (1989) and a documentary ‘An encounter with faces´ (1980) were also sent to the Oscars.
After the movie was chosen as India’s official entry to the Oscars, director Bhavna Talwar filed a petition claiming that the 11-member jury had taken a “biased” decision as some of the panelists had close ties to Chopra.
Talwar’s own film ‘Dharm´ was passed over for ‘Eklavya´ and a verbal spat followed between Chopra and those opposing his movie which had failed to register with Indian audience.
The Bombay High Court sought a response from the the Film Federation of India on the issue. Following the controversy, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences had asked the FFI to withdraw or confirm the entry.
However, when the FFI remained firm on ‘Eklavya´ as its choice, Talwar told the court that she wanted to withdrew her complaint as the deadline for submitting the entry had ended. The award ceremony will be held on Feb 24.