India’s Oscar entry is Gujarati film The Good Road

India's Oscar entry is Gujarati film The Good Road

India’s official entry for Oscar 2014 has been picked and it’s a little known Gujarati film called The Good Road.

Other films in the Oscar race included the acclaimed The Lunchbox, starring Irrfan Khan and Nawazuddin Siddiqui.

Presenter Karan Johar tweeted: Really shocked and disappointed. #LUNCHBOX had every factor working in its favour. We may have just lost our golden chance. SAD!!!

Directed by first-timer Gyan Correa, The Good Road won the National Award for Best Gujarati Film and stars Ajay Gehi, Keval Katrodia and Sonali Kulkarni. Three intersecting story arcs in the film deal with a truck driver planning to fake his own death and collect on insurance, an urban couple who are separated from their young son on holiday, and an 11-year-old girl looking for her grandmother.

The Oscar selection committee was headed by Bengali filmmaker Goutam Ghose. “There were 22 entries from different parts of India for consideration this year. Films like The Lunchbox, Bhaag Milkha Bhaag and Vishwaroopam were short-listed but it was an unanimous decision by the 19-member jury to select The Good Road,” Mr Ghose told news agency PTI.

He added, “This is a new film but The Good Road surprises as it shows the unknown India through the story of a boy who is lost and then found while his family is on a holiday trip to Kutch.”

NFDC-produced The Good Road has an Oscar connection in sound engineer Resul Pookutty who won an Academy Award for his work in the accolade-sweeping Slumdog Millionaire.

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28 Comments
  1. Author
    sputnik 6 years ago

    So they did not chose The Lunchbox which had got some good reviews in the west. Atleast they have not chosen Bhaag Milkha Bhaag.

    • hithere 6 years ago

      BMB is typically Bollywood movie at least in presentation. Paan Singh Tomar was a better Biopic but that was also not Oscar material.

  2. Baba 6 years ago

    they should have chosen madras cafe

    • hithere 6 years ago

      I like it but it is essentially a Bourne movie.

  3. Bored 6 years ago

    Firstly Oscar is over-rated and yeah Bollywood has no idea of world standards of film-making, they live in stone age sensibilities.

    • hithere 6 years ago

      The winners may be not be the best, as voting is prone to politics, in general nominated films are very good especially foreign film category.

  4. Bored 6 years ago

    Yes agree. Most countries take their nominations to this category quite seriously, unlike our great jury.

  5. Anjanpur685Miles 6 years ago

    Interesting. Need to see this.

    Karan’s reaction is bad. Without seeing this film how can he say that?

  6. Bored 6 years ago

    Did KJO ever talk any sense? I am yet to watch both Lunchbox and this one, and i doubt this one is without any merit. But yeah, last year’s Barfi selection was embarrassing!

  7. sameer 6 years ago

    I am shocked at the way both Karan Johar and Anurag Kashyap, both of whom are producers of the film and have an interest in it, is going about announcing to all and sundry that it is the wrong decision to select, and send the regional Gujarati film ‘The Good Road’, and not their film ‘Lunchbox’ to the Oscars.I am disgusted with their behaviour.They should learn some manners and be gracious enough to congratulate the film unit, whose film got selected. They should show some magnanimity and not be stupid saying that their film should have been selected, and they are shocked that it is not. Have they seen ‘The Good Road’ at all to make a statement like that? Even if they have how can they tom tom about how their film is superior? Other people should appreciate it then it will make sense. Here Karan and Anurag, with the might of UTV behind them, is on a self glorification scheme. I am sure that Ritesh Batra, the director of Lunchbox has made a good movie, but ‘The Good Road’ might be better. So we can comment on it only after we have seen both the movies.
    ‘The Good Road’ being a small regional film has made it to the Oscars is highly appreciable, especially when there are heavily promoted films like Lunchbox and Kamal Hassan’s Vishwatma etc.
    It being selected for the Oscar entry brings hope to small film makers and the talent in the industry as a whole.

    • hithere 6 years ago

      I don’t think it matters for Oscar people if the movie is in Hindi or Gujarati or Tamilian. To them everything probably is regional 😉

      ps – It has become a annual ritual of controversy when we nominate movies to Oscar. If they nominate Bollywood movies, regional directors are angry and vice versa.

  8. Bored 6 years ago

    Yes Sameer – its a shocking lack of integrity. and as hithere says its prevalent all around.

  9. ank_16n 6 years ago

    @karanjohar: Really shocked and dissapointed…. # LUN­
    CHBOX had every factor working in its favour…we may
    have just lost our golden chance….SAD!!!

    @ankash1009: i dont know who the federation is.but it goes to show, why we completely lack the understanding to make films that can travel across borders

  10. ank_16n 6 years ago

    Anurag kashyap has deactivated his twitter account…………..now he is trying to put pressure on whom???

    old tactics to show ur dumbness..!!

    utv,kjo n kashyap were lobbing for lunchbox to make it go oscars that’s why they released it just 2 days before the announcement so that they can cash on it for some boxoffice moolah………but their plan misfired n now lunch box is going to fold around 10cr making it a average grosser..!!
    so keeping in tact the record of anurag kashyap with zero hit to his credit as a director/producer……correct me if i m wrong 😉

  11. Suprabh 6 years ago

    don’t understand why can’t The producer still take the movie to the oscars- Independently?

    If I remember correctly, thats one way of doing it to…and I think VVC did that for one of his films one time.

  12. Suprabh 6 years ago

    so are they trying to say (they: makers of Lunch Box) that their film is good enough to be nominated for best film only if sent to the best foreign film category but is not meritorious enough to compete with other Hollywood films 😉

    Don’t know what that means

    either they are openly ridiculing that category

    OR

    they are supremely confident about movies from other nations being poor

    OR

    they are saying that Hollywood makes better films than rest of the world (even hollywood would disagree with that 😀 )

  13. saurabh 6 years ago

    @ ank dev d ws average, nd gow1 nd gow 2 earned well, besides he actually pushes lot to new director, he gav chances to many..

    Though kjo statement ws really bad, but anurag wished the gujrati movie luck, though criticizing the decision in one tweet, but as posted by someone that he is also criticizing a lot… But he gav hits nd good pictures, nd he is kinda leader type of new wave..
    they r saying if lunchbox had been nominated then India had better chances coz utv nd Sony(in usa) has money nd at the end lobbying is imp in Oscar, so they said they had better chances.. So many good movies frm india couldn’t reach to top 5 coz of lobby, so its like lobby + quality works.. But agree they should have chosen words carefully… It affects a lot to ever one else..

  14. sameer 6 years ago

    I understand that lobbying is important, but smaller films from smaller countries have reached and won Oscars in the past. With money comes
    might, but might is not always right. If lobbying is all that is there to the Oscars then we should send Chennai Express to the Oscars, because that was the best marketed movie by aur best marketing guru Sharukh Khan. I am sure if we nominate that one, half of the competition at the Oscars will not reach the Oscars. Sharukh will make sure that they don’t.

  15. Author
    sputnik 6 years ago

    After saying “it was an unanimous decision by the 19-member jury to select The Good Road” the Volte-face – ‘The Lunchbox’ should have gone to Oscars, jury chief Goutam Ghose says

    If director Goutam Ghose had his way, ‘The Lunchbox’ wouldn’t have got lost on the long road to the Oscars. “The Lunchbox was on top of my list, but there were 15 other people on the jury as well,” Ghose, chief of the jury which picked the Indian entry for Oscars, told TOI on Tuesday.

    Despite the recently released Ritesh Batra film being the overwhelming favourite, the Indian jury went with the little-known Gujarati film ‘The Good Road’ for the top American award for the best foreign language film category. The decision to nominate ‘The Good Road’ instead of ‘The Lunchbox’ has created a furore in the Indian film fraternity and Ghose looked to make his stance clear. “I am not the only one who decides which film will go. It is a 16-member panel. But yes, ‘The Lunchbox’ definitely was a stand-out film,” he said.

    Elaborating on the reasons behind ‘The Lunchbox’ being the better bet, Ghose said: “It has been appreciated at foreign festivals, has an international distributor like Sony Pictures Classics, and a good cast. That’s why it would have been easier to convince the Oscar jury. The producers of ‘The Good Road’ have to work hard to catch international attention.”

    Ghose was prompt to point out that the Gyan Correa film from Gujarat too has its plus points. “For me, it was the second best film on the shortlist. The jury, probably thought the innate Indian-ness of ‘The Good Road’ made it a better bet. It’s a film that explores the lives of people in Rann of Kutch, something we don’t know of. It has its moments, but it’s important to market a film well if it has to have a chance at the Oscars. We should also keep in mind that it ran for only two weeks in India,” he said.

    The chief of jury acknowledged that regional bias cannot entirely be ruled out during the selection process. “Regional filmmakers need to assert their identity, and that mentality sometimes seeps into the choices of the jury, which constitutes of members from different parts of India. Ideally there should be a screening of films regionally and the national jury should only judge the top three from each zone,” he said.

    Ghose, a national award winning filmmaker, has suggested that the Film Federation of India try and increase the number of entries from India to the Oscars. “Look at the number of films we make in comparison to Thailand, Sri Lanka or Korea. They have one entry and so have we. Sometimes it becomes impossible to choose one film and in the process, a deserving film like ‘The Lunchbox’ misses out,” Ghose said.

    Link

  16. saurabh 6 years ago

    @sameer read my comment carefully, i said quality+money..

  17. Bored 6 years ago

    Saw Lunchbox. Batra has made a fine film! Irfan and Nawaz have acted as good as usual – Highly recommended. Loved the ending – thats how to end a story.

  18. Author
    sputnik 6 years ago

    The Good Road is out of Oscars. Asghar Farhadi’s The Past is also out.

    9 Foreign Language Films Advance in Oscar® Race

    BEVERLY HILLS, CA —Nine features will advance to the next round of voting in the Foreign Language Film category for the 86th Academy Awards®. Seventy-six films had originally been considered in the category.

    The films, listed in alphabetical order by country, are:

    Belgium, “The Broken Circle Breakdown,” Felix van Groeningen, director;

    Bosnia and Herzegovina, “An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker,” Danis Tanovic, director;

    Cambodia, “The Missing Picture,” Rithy Panh, director;

    Denmark, “The Hunt,” Thomas Vinterberg, director;

    Germany, “Two Lives,” Georg Maas, director;

    Hong Kong, “The Grandmaster,” Wong Kar-wai, director;

    Hungary, “The Notebook,” Janos Szasz, director;

    Italy, “The Great Beauty,” Paolo Sorrentino, director;

    Palestine, “Omar,” Hany Abu-Assad, director.

    Foreign Language Film nominations for 2013 are being determined in two phases.

    The Phase I committee, consisting of several hundred Los Angeles-based Academy members, screened the original submissions in the category between mid-October and December 16. The group’s top six choices, augmented by three additional selections voted by the Academy’s Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee, constitute the shortlist.

    The shortlist will be winnowed down to the five nominees by specially invited committees in New York and Los Angeles. They will spend Friday, January 10, through Sunday, January 12, viewing three films each day and then casting their ballots.

    The 86th Academy Awards nominations will be announced live on Thursday, January 16, 2014, at 5:30 a.m. PT in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater.

    Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will be presented on Oscar Sunday, March 2, 2014, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® and televised live on the ABC Television Network. The presentation, produced by Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

    Link

    • cr7 6 years ago

      So sad that “The Past” didn’t make it .Loved that movie.Saudi & Mexican movie had good Oscar buzz .They didn’t make it too .

      Have only seen The broken Circle breakdown .It was a fine movie .Happy for it . Downloaded “The Hunt” . Will try to watch all the nominated movies soon .

      • narad_muni 6 years ago

        The past IMO was nowhere as good as ‘A separation’. I was actually quite surprised that some people were considering it equally good and worth of an Oscar

  19. Reddemon 6 years ago

    It was never a Oscar worthy film. Even Lunchbox was just good for me. The fate would have been same even if Lunchbox was sent as India’s official Entry. Although i dont rate Oscars highly but India cant really win it in near present.

  20. Saurabh 6 years ago

    The Lunchbox could have been left out of the final phase, but still it had a better chance than The Good Road. Sony Pictures was eager to distribute it across the US. But as far as winning goes, we still haven’t mastered the art of writing good screenplays. Even the latest breed of filmmakers are not completely getting what makes a film work in totality. The use of music in our movies is not to compliment the images but just using for the sake of using it. A bit off topic, but saw Madras Cafe few days ago. And the tension in it came as forced with the constant barrage of ‘thriller’ music being forced on my ears and also John’s constant voice over explaining every tid bit instead of conveying it through the dialogue and images. And many have hailed it as one of the best of this year. Audacity for me doesn’t equal quality.

    Also the Oscars jury members are a weird lot. No matter how much technological leaps we have taken, to them India still is a land of slums, filth, poverty,etc. Look at the movies that made it to the final 10. Both of them showed India as they had imagined and for the jury that added to the tangibility of the world that those movies and the characters inhabited.

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