Pan Nalin’s coming-of-age drama Chhello Show (‘Last Film Show’) is selected as India’s official submission to next year’s Oscars. This is the second Gujarati film to represent the country at the Academy Awards almost a decade later since The Good Road.
It was just recently announced that Roy Kapur Films banner is roped in as producer. The picture had its world premiere Robert De Niro’s Tribeca Film Festival and has since won numerous awards across various fests. The UK Premiere took place at London Indian Film Festival in June, earlier this year. It even won the headline ‘Best Film’ award.
Producer Siddharth Roy Kapur says: “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.”
Nalin is known for making visually aesthetic movies in titles like Samsara and Angry Indian Goddesses. He calls this story a “celebration of light”. It centres on Samay (Bhavin Rabari). A 9-year-old boy living with his family in a remote village in India discovers films for the first time. He is left absolutely mesmerised. Against his father’s wishes, he returns to the cinema day after day to watch more films. He even befriends the projectionist, Fazal (Bhavesh Shrimali), who in exchange for his lunch box, lets him watch movies for free.
The child quickly figures out that stories become light, then films which further translate to dreams. Samay and his wild gang of friends move heaven and earth to project light to achieve a 35mm film projection. Together, they use an innovative hack and jubilantly succeed in making a film projection apparatus.
Watch our interview with director Pan Nalin here: