The Film Federation of India (FFI), on Tuesday, announced that the Gujarati film Chhello Show ("Last Film Show") is India's official entry for the Oscars 2023.
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.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.
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.
Director Pan Nalin said, "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. "
Producer Siddharth Roy Kapur shared, “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 will release in theatres in Gujarat and on select screens across the country on 14 October 2022.