The highly-rated film The Lunchbox has lost the race as India's Oscar nominee for 2013. The elegiac, haunting tragic Gujarati travel drama The Good Road has won the coveted privilege of being India's official Oscar entry for this year.
The film earlier won the National award for Best Feature Film in Gujarati.
Speaking on the decision on Saturday evening the head of the jury for the Oscar selection, filmmaker Gautam Ghose said, "We chose this wonderful Gujarati film The Good Road. We were surprised by the film. There were other strong contenders in the short-list, Ritesh Batra's The Lunchbox Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra's Bhaag Milkha Bhaag , Gauri Shinde's English Vinglish and Kamal Haasan's Vishwaroopam and also two regional films Kaushik Ganguly's Shabdo, and the Malayalam film Celluloid directed by Kamal."
Says Gautam Ghosh, "The Lunchbox is very good too. I loved the performances of Irrfan and Nawazuddin. But The Good Road got our vote. It's a lost-and-found story set in the Kutch area. It reflects on an India not seen in our films. The film explores an entirely new cinematic space."
Gautam says he personally loved English Vinglish and saw it twice. Says Gautam, "Sridevi is fantastic. It's basically about the dignity of an individual. In India, we make many kinds of films regional, national, small-budgeted, big-budgeted. So with such diversity we need to send at least 5 films to the Oscars. The Film Federation Of India has sent a request to the Academy Awards asking that we be allowed to send several Oscar entries per year as we are such a large cinema-making country. So many diverse kinds of films are being made in India. We make 1500 films. The Tamil film industry is itself bigger than the Korean cinema. Why should we send only 1 film to the Oscars? We cannot dance only to their tune."