Pan Nalin happy with the National award but says it was only Oscar recognition that brought attention to Chhello Show in India | Bollywood


Filmmaker Pan Nalin’s film Chhello Show (2021), known as The Last Film Show in India, has won the National Award for the Best Gujarati Film, and he is overwhelmed as the recognition would further help the film get more audience. “We feel happy that at least National Award will again put the spotlight on the film, and mainly on the actors, who have done a fabulous job,” he shares.

Indian filmmaker Pan Nalin is happy on his film receiving National Award in the Best Gujarati film category. (AFP)
Indian filmmaker Pan Nalin is happy on his film receiving National Award in the Best Gujarati film category. (AFP)

While the Oscar-winning project has been receiving appreciation from all quarters, the director confesses he feels sad to see how it’s only after the international recognition that the film is now getting its due in its home country.

“The recognition in India mainly came because of our Oscar entry. That’s when people discovered Chhello Show and were curious to watch it,” he points out, and adds, “Earlier, when the film was sent for the Academy Awards, there were questions about why such a huge country of 1.4 billion people is sending a Gujarati film. There were a few who even said that it’s a government supported film or a campaign, which were all misconceptions and false accusations.”

Not just that, Naling goes on to lament that many didn’t even know that the film has been released in India and is available on an OTT platform. “People had queries about when we are planning to release the film, and I told them it’s already out. We did what we could. We did so many shows and begged people to come and watch the film. We even reduced the rate of the tickets to 95. We were okay to bear the loss, but wanted the movie to run in theatres. It was only with time that people started watching and liking the film. So, it’s such a sad state of affairs that we needed international recognition for our film to get appreciation in our own country,” he asserts.

Criticising the system and lack of a body that looks into all the affairs, Nalin rues, “The whole system is running more or less like a dukaan. You cannot release a film in this country if you do not have 10-12 crores for marketing. In fact, India is the most expensive country to release a film. In Japan, we did so many press conferences and we spent only 20% of what we’ve to spend in India. So, how do you reach to the audience? And even audiences are very sceptical because they don’t know what they’re going to get when there are no big star and songs. There is no proper infrastructure in our country.”

While Chhello Show is getting the love and adulation from Indian audiences and now with back-to-back awards, Nalin reveals how it’s already a hit around the globe. “It’s not one country, there is Japan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Turkey and many more appreciating our film. It has received 25 international awards so far. It has completed 32 weeks in Japan, and was released on 250 screens in Italy. And now National Award feels like a nod by our own people. It feels good to know that our work is being appreciated here as well,” he says.

And for this victory, he wants to thank the jury, which he believes is the core reason behind it all. “It always depends on the jury. If they’re honest, strong and clear in thoughts, the results are always right. Look at the jury, which chose us to go for Oscar. They had to face a lot of backlash, with people trolling and abusing them. The fans of some big movies were really upset after the jury chose us. They got political pressure also but those 17 young member stood by their decision and they really liked our movie. So the jury has the power to stand up and that’s the way it should be because we are a democracy,” he ends.


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