Siddharth Roy Kapur, Nalin, Dheer Momaya, and Mark Duale's film Pan Nalin's Last Film Show has been chosen as India's official entry for the Best International Feature Oscar category.
A semi-autobiographical drama in the Gujarati language called The Last Film Show (Chhello Show) honours classic filmmaking while also serving as a reminder of the universal allure of movies and youthful innocence.
The drama is set against the backdrop of India's theatres going through a significant shift from celluloid to digital, starring Bhavin Rabari, Vikas Bata, Richa Meena, Bhavesh Shrimali, Dipen Raval, and Rahul Koli. Samay (Rabari) and his friends get a ride on the train that passes their isolated village and make their way to a dilapidated movie theatre that has all their young hearts could ever want for enjoyment. Samay uses the home-cooked lunch his mother brought for him to bribe the hungry projectionist after his buddies are hauled out after slipping in without paying. And so begins a daily routine: Samay trades his lunch for entrance to the projection booth, where he watches the world change in front of him on a large screen. However, this sanctuary is disturbed when the cinema switches from 35mm to digital, so Samay recruits his friends to build their own do-it-yourself projector.
Last Film Show had its international premiere at Tribeca the previous year and went on to win the Golden Spike at the Valladolid Film Festival in Spain as well as the Audience Award at the Mill Valley Film Festival for its World Cinema section. On October 14, it debuts in Gujarat and on a few theatres around India. The distribution companies for the American and European markets are Orange Studio and Samuel Goldwyn Films, respectively. Italy's rights are with Medusa, while Japan's are with Shochiku Studios.
The award-winning films Samsara, Valley of Flowers, Angry Indian Goddesses, and Ayurveda: Art of Being are among Nalin's most recognised works. "I could never have dreamed such a day would come and bring light and celebration of light," he stated today. Although Chhello Show has received support from all across the world, I was left wondering how I could get India to know about it. Now that I can breathe again, I believe in the power of entertaining, moving, and enlightening movies!
"We are delighted and honoured that our picture, Last Film Show, has been chosen to represent India at the Academy Awards," continued Kapur. A movie like this, which embraces the joy and romance of cinema and the theatre experience, could not have come out at a more appropriate time. It brings back memories for audiences of the first time they fell in love with the sensation of seeing a movie in a darkened theatre when global cinema attendance has been disrupted by a pandemic. It gives us tremendous pride to represent our nation with this movie, and with the support of our collaborators Samuel Goldwyn Films and Orange Studio, we'll be sure to offer the Academy Awards our best effort.
The movie is made by Marc Duale, Roy Kapur Films, Jugaad Motion Pictures, Monsoon Films, and Chhello Show LLP.