'Eklavya' is India's official entry at Oscars

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Mumbai, Sep 25 (UNI) 'Eklavya'- The Royal Guard', featuring Amitabh Bachchan, Sanjay Dutt and Vidya Balan, has been selected as India's official entry to the Oscars.

Vidhu Vinod Chopra's multi-starrer movie got past films like 'Chak de India', 'Guru' and 'Gandhi-My father' to represent India in the foreign film category of the Oscars.

The Film Federation of India (FFI) Jury chairman filmmaker Vinod Pande said after a long and animated discussion, the jury members had to decide between 'Eklavya' and another film 'Dharm'.

To a query on whether the decision was unanimous, Pande replied,'' in the affirmative.

This is the third time Director Vidhu Vinod Chopra will be going to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. His short non-fiction film, 'An Encounter with Faces' was one of the first Indian films to be nominated for an Oscar in 1980. In 1989, Parinda was sent to the Oscars as India's official entry.

Commenting on the news, Director Vidhu Vinod Chopra said, ''I'm elated. But this was only the first battle. The real one is still ahead. I'm leaving for the US on October 2 and will start my groundwork there. I'm banking on my previous experiences at the Academy and the overwhelming support the film has received in the West. I hope to make India proud.'' UNI

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