Guneet Monga’s Call for Strategic Selection of India’s Oscar Entry


Gurneet Monga’s Plea for a Refined Selection Process

Oscar-winning film producer Gurneet Monga has called for a more meticulous selection process to enhance India’s chances of securing the prestigious Oscar award. During a conversation session at the ongoing 54th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in Goa, Monga, known for producing the Academy Award-winning documentary short film “The Elephant Whisperers,” emphasized the need for the selection committee to choose films that have significant distribution in America, a global presence at film festivals, and acclaim and awards on the international stage.

A Strategic Approach to Enhance Winning Chances

Gurneet Monga stressed the importance of education within the selection process, urging a focus on films distributed in the United States, considering the Oscars’ American roots. She emphasized that films with a history of festival participation and awards have a higher chance of success. Gurneet Monga critiqued the existing practice of selecting a film and then attempting a rushed campaign in the two months leading up to the Oscars, deeming it impractical. She suggested evaluating factors such as festival participation, awards won, and the overall global reception of the film.

Resul Pookutty’s Counterpoint on Representation

In contrast, Academy Award-winning sound designer Resul Pookutty argued for a different approach, emphasizing that India’s official entry need not be solely chosen for its potential to win but should best represent the country for that year. Pookutty proposed the establishment of a government-funded initiative to enlist a panel of publicists, facilitating the promotion of the selected film. This, he believes, would provide independently produced films from various regions in India with a fair chance.


Ketan Anand’s Historical Film Restoration and Sequel Announcement

Filmmaker and director Ketan Anand expressed his joy at the restoration of his father’s film, “Haqeeqat,” at IFFI. He underscored the significance of appreciating historically important films through restoration efforts by the National Film Heritage Mission and the National Film Archive of India. Anand, pleased with the restoration, announced plans for a sequel to “Haqeeqat,” picking up where his father’s film left off. The sequel will continue the narrative from the Sino-Indian War of 1962, featuring a retired army major, the same character seen as a young boy in the original film. Anand highlighted the importance of preserving historical films for the current generation through meticulous restoration processes.


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