India's official entry for the Oscars 2023 is the Gujarati film, Chhello Show ( 'Last Film Show' in English), backed by film producer Siddharth Roy Kapur. The ecstatic head honcho of Roy Kapur Films recalls the moment when he agreed to associate with the film. “When Dheer Momaya ( the co-producer of the film) reached out to me, the film was already shot so I had the benefit of being able to watch what a beautiful film Nalin (Pan Nalin, the director) had made.”
He further says that the team wanted Kapur to be involved as a producer as well as a distributor for the film in India. “So I decided that it would be an honour and privilege to come onboard. I am so proud of the incredible work that Dheer and Nalin put into making such a beautiful film and I am so happy to have the ability to be able to partner with them to take it out to the world in the best possible way that it can be.”
Pan Nalin, who is best known for directing award-winning and visually striking films such as ‘Samsara’, ‘Valley Of Flowers’, ‘Angry Indian Goddesses’ and ‘Ayurveda: Art Of Being’, captures the charm of the western region of Gujarat in ‘Last Film Show’ (‘Chhello Show’) while paying homage to the cinema of the past in this part-autobiographical drama. It is a reminder of childhood innocence and the universal magic of the movies.
The film stars Bhavin Rabari, Vikas Bata, Richa Meena, Bhavesh Shrimali, Dipen Raval and Rahul Koli.
Siddharth Roy Kapur, who is also the husband of actor Vidya Balan, says that 'Chhello Show' is one of the rare films that immediately breaks down the barriers that we created for ourselves as human beings.
"We create so many walls around us as we grow older and more mature because we want to deal with the world in a way that doesn’t hurt us or affect us the way we were affected when we were children. 'Chello Show' reminds us of a time when there was pure innocence, there was whimsical nature when we went on doing things, the sky was the limit, we dared to be able to try some things for the first time, there was the magic of experiencing something for the first time and I think 'Chello Show' brings that to life beautifully,” he says.
Having captured the hearts of critics and audiences across the world, the Gujarati-language coming-of-age drama will have a countrywide release on October 14. However, considering the massive buzz around the title, the makers of 'The Last Film Show' (Chhello Show) are releasing the film on the Last shows of Thursday, October 13. It will open across 95 cinemas at a ticket price of Rs. 95!
When asked if the Pandemic has given a new boom to the consumption of regional cinemas, Siddharth says that it is really a wonderful time where barriers have gone down around the world in terms of the freedom with which content can be distributed.
“In the past when we had to release movies theatrically, we had to find local distributors, we needed to invest in print and publicity expenses and then see whether our films would be able to resonate in our different culture, different language. However, today what streaming platforms have done is it has created a very level playing field where our movies and our shows are accessible to everyone around the world at the same time in the language of their choice.
"This gives us all the ability now to be able to tell stories that have universal appeal and hopefully there will be many many more stories coming out of India that can reach out to much wider audiences around the world,” he sums up.
The screening of the film 'Chhello Show' was held in Mumbai last night and several high-profile celebrities attended the event, including Deepika Padukone, Vidya Balan, Kiara Advani, Chitrangada Singh, Aditya Roy Kapur, Kirti Kulhari, Ashutosh Gowarikar, Rasika Duggal, Shakun Batra and Rohit Saraf among others.