Chopra laments controversy over Eklavya's choice for Oscar entry

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Mumbai, Sep 28 (UNI) Filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra said criticism over the choice of his film ''Eklavya'' as India's representative in the foreign film category of Oscars and the Film Federation of India (FFI) jury can harm the film industry's reputation internationally.

A statement issued by Vinod Chopra Films here today said since the FFI announced ''Eklavya'' as the official Indian selection for the Oscar, filmmaker Bhawana Talwar has consistently been criticising the choice, alleging that the jury was corrupt and that her film ''Dharam'' should have been the one selected.

''She first accused Sudhir Mishra of corruption. But, that did not stick. Her current accusation is that Ranjit Bahadur was the editor on the making of 'Eklavya' film and therefore prejudiced and should not have been on the jury. It is trade practice that making of films are outsourced to independent production houses who are at liberty to hire any technicians they please. Ranjit Bahadur has no direct association with Vinod Chopra Films,'' the statement added.

While Ms Talwar is accusing Ranjit of prejudice, she is overlooking the connection of other jury member Nadeem Khan and Vinod Chopra. They are batchmates from the Film and Television Institute of India, where they were close friends. Nadeem Khan was the cameraman on Vinod Chopra's first film, ''Murder at Monkey Hill''. The film won the National Award and Mr Nadeem Khan was part of the celebration. Their professional collaboration continued.

Nadeem Khan did additional camerawork on ''1942: A Love Story''.

But, Ms Talwar is overlooking this because Nadeem Khan voted for her film, it added.

The Hindi film industry is a close-knit space and most people, at some point, have crossed professional paths. If Ms Talwar had objections to this jury, she should have raised them before submitting her film so the jury could have been changed and new members found. But she went to the media only when her own film was not chosen. ''Ms Talwar is creating a controversy which can only damage the Indian film industry's reputation internationally. I am very sorry that this had happened'' Mr Vidhu Vinod Chopra said.

UNI

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