BAAHUBALI and BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN lose battle for Oscar; Marathi film COURT selected amidst ‘rift’ in jury members!!

Sidelining commercial successfully films like BAAHUBALI, BAJRANGI BHAIJAAN, PK, MARY KOM and artistically brilliant art films like MASAAN, HAIDER, KAAKA MUTTAI, AKUTTRAM KADITHAL etc. the Film Federation of India (FFI) jury gave its thumps up to Chaitanya Tamhane's debut Marathi movie COURT, as India's official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 88th Academy Awards.

Though the decision to select the Marathi film COURT is cited as a unanimous decision by the jury but eminent filmmaker Rahul Rawail, who was one of the jury in the panel has dropped a bomb shell by quitting from the post citing differences with Chairperson Amol Palekar.

It seems Rahul Rawail is unhappy with decision of selecting the Marathi film COURT as in a tweet he has accused Amol Palekar’s behavior as obnoxious and quoted the reason for resigning from the Film Federation of India (FFI) jury.

It may be noted eminent filmmaker Rahul Rawail is a celebrated filmmaker and has to his credits hit films like LOVE STORY, BETAAB, ARJUN etc. 

Though Amol Palekar has not responded to Rahul Rawail’s allegation but Supran Sen, secretary general of Film Federation of India (FFI), which selects the Oscar entry, termed Rawail’s claims ‘ridiculous’. In a press release she said, “The film COURT was a unanimous decision. You can manipulate one or two people not all the members of the jury. I think they had a personal problem and it does not have to do with COURT. Rahul Rawail’s statement is ridiculous.”

The selection of Marathi film COURT is bound to raise eye brows because Amol Palekar, the Chairman of Film Federation of India (FFI), being a Maharashtrian, was sure to support the film from his state. 

What is painful is that it is this very attitude of us Indians to favor our states that has resulted in India never being able to win an Oscar despite having quality filmmakers. Instead of focusing on the quality of a film, irrespective of its language and state, the jury of Film Federation of India (FFI) has always been interested in favoritism. 

Until we overcome this drawback, we can never think of winning an Oscar!!!