Gyan Correa’s Gujarati film The Good Road which has been selected for the Oscars, has got itself into a controversy as a few people in Bollywood feel Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox was a far more deserving contender for the Oscars. Correa defends his film amidst the controversy.
Some people in Bollywood feel that Ritesh Batra’s The Lunchbox should have gone to the Oscars.
Yes. Some people seem quite upset by the decision. I am hoping they will stop being upset in a while. They are seasoned people and have been around long enough.
There are reviews of your film, apparently published at the time of release, which describe the film as a ‘horrible’ film that failed critically and commercially on release?
I am curious to know where these reviews are coming from (smiles).
Did you read these reviews when the film was released?
No, not at all! I’d love to read them. As for the criticism some people said the language was bad. But that’s it. No critics as far as I know thought my film was ‘horrible’.
You mean abusive language? That doesn’t make it a bad film.
I agree. I am new to all this and I really don’t know how to deal with this whole unsavoury controversy. I feel the film that I have made, has merit. Otherwise it wouldn’t have been selected for the Oscars. People who hadn’t heard of the film let alone seen it, are criticising it. That is unfair.
The jury’s wisdom is also being questioned...
It’s inappropriate for people who had a film in the competition to be publicly discussing and questioning the process of selection. I wouldn’t do that. I was surprised by the comments on the jury — that they don’t know cinema and all that. Most uncalled for.
Have you seen The Lunchbox?
No. But I am going to see it as soon as possible. The Lunchbox and The Good Road are siblings. They’ve both come out of the NFDC route in different ways. So both films have originated from the same foundation where good cinema is fostered. The real story is that the NFDC which once used to nurture meaningful cinema is back in business. This other story (about Oscar-worthiness) is totally out of league.
But it seems to be gathering momentum?
Running down my film won’t help other films! I didn’t select the film (for the Oscars). A committee that knows its job did the selection. I respect the jury and I feel every other filmmaker should. Now that The Good Road has been selected, the film fraternity should support it.
Lobbying for an Oscar in Los Angeles is a very expensive process. Are you prepared for what’s to come?
I’ve to meet my producers (the NFDC) and discuss our strategy. We have a plan. Raising resources for our struggle in LA is not an easy job.