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Eklavya India's official choice to the Oscars
Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Eklavya: THe Royal Guard found some praise with critics when it released this year, even though audiences rejected it outright.

The Film Federation Of India (FFI), on the other hand, seemed to love it, and selected the film as India's official choice to the Oscars.

Eklavya, one of Chopra's best-directed films, stars Amitabh Bachchan [Images], Saif Ali Khan [Images], Sanjay Dutt [Images] and Vidya Balan [Images]. It is a story of how Bachchan, a royal guard, protects the heir Saif against his evil relatives.

"It was a close call between Dharam and Eklavya," said Vinod Pandey, chairman of FFI's selection committee. The other films in the running were Gandhi, My Father and Chak De! India.

Do you think Eklavya is a good choice to be sent to the Oscars? If not, which film do you think deserves it?

Regional films were not even considered this time. Do you think that's fair? Were there any good regional movies that should have been selected?

However for producer/director Vidhu Vinod Chopra this is not the first time that his film is going to the Oscars. In fact two of his earlier works, a short non-fiction film An Encounter with Faces and Parinda were sent to the Oscars. Last year too, a Vidhu Vinod production Lage Raho Munnabhai was sent as an independent entry to the Oscars. Obviously Chopra is extremely happy and says “I can say that it is just the beginning for us. Now the real work starts, I just hope that we go there and make India proud.” No doubt Chopra has big plans to promote and publicise the film with the foreign juries, he says “I am supposed to go to New York and Boston for the screening of the film. I have an office in Los Angeles and now I will hire some people to take care of the publicity of the film.” There was a lot of critical appreciation for the finer nuances and technical aspects of Eklavya even from the West; however at the box-office the film didn’t do too well. Chopra is also upset with the reactions of some filmmakers against Eklavya. The producer-director compared the attitude of certain sections of the film fraternity akin to crab mentality, where one crab pulls down the other one. He also said “What are the credentials of these people…what is their understanding of cinema…where does their allegiance lie? These people need to be educated a little bit about cinema.”

Bollywood superstars Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan have yet to find combined dates to shoot for their portion together in Ravi Chopra ’s Bhootnath .

Bachchan and SRK don’t seem to have any combined dates to give their director. This has upset director Chopra and also the film’s schedule.

Both actors have shot their individual scenes in the film, but have yet to find combined dates to shoot for their portion together.

A source claims “When SRK gives his dates, Amitabh Bachchan is not available and vice-versa. It is very obvious that both are not very keen to work together and are just trying their best to avoid coming face to face with each other.”

The sets put up for the film are extremely expensive and it has been lying unused for quite some time now, this is no doubt causing the film producers a financial crunch.

Recently the Big B had given some dates, but unfortunately they coincided with the music launch of the King Khan’s home production Om Shanti Om and hence the shooting had to be cancelled in the end.

A major portion of the film involving Bachchan and SRK’s individual scenes has already been shot, but they have still to shoot their joined portions.

Earlier too there was some talk that Bachchan wanted ‘Bhootnath’ script to be re-worked.

In the second week of October, the film’s unit leaves for Goa to shoot a song sequence out there and the joint portions of Bachchan and SRK need to be shot before that.

Chopra simply said “We have got some dates and we will start shooting at the Mehboob Studios sets from October 1-10.”

Let's see if he gets what he wants.



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