01 August, 2021

Quite A Sweet Tooth

Less-than-original Barfi! as Oscar entry confounds all

Quite A Sweet Tooth

Mahesh Manjrekar sounds flustered, resigned too. “In the year of Astitva, they chose Jeans as the official Indian entry to the Oscars. It felt like a slap on my face then. At least Barfi! is better than Jeans.” Manjrekar’s unusual Marathi tale of amour, Kaksparsh, is one of the 19 films Barfi! beat in the race to Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles, as India’s official entry to the Oscars. And, as it happens every year, the choice has ruffled many feathers. Especially after a post on www.tanqeed.com detailing scene-by-scene lifts from foreign films went viral. The blatant plagiarisation apart, filmmakers are foxed over the entire process of selecting films for the Oscars, a modus operandi the industry itself seems ignorant about.

“As a filmmaker who’s been around for long,” says fimmaker Rituparno Ghosh, “I don’t even know what is the procedure to apply.” The Film Federation of India, which manages the show, does...

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