Ritesh Batra’s THE LUNCHBOX has a great chance of being nominated for the Best Film in a Foreign Language category of the Academy Awards and also winning the Oscar statuette according to Karan Johar, the co-producer and Indian presenter of the film. However, this can only happen if the film gets the nod of those who form the selection committee of the Film Federation of India (FFI) and the umbrella body finally picks up THE LUNCHBOX as India’s official Oscar entry.
Karan Johar is quite gung-ho about the film’s prospects for the fact that it is a Cannes Critics’ Week selection and has big brands of global sales and distribution like The Match Factory. It will also be supported by previous Oscar winners like Marc Baschet and Danis Tanovic who are its co-producers. However, the most crucial factor from Oscar perspective is that the North American distribution rights of THE LUNCHBOX have been acquired by Sony Pictures Classics and they are also looking at the film as a potential Oscar winner and will do their best to publicize and promote it to the voting members of the Academy according to Karan and Guneet Monga.
CHECK OUT: Karan Johar to miss THE LUNCH BOX premiere
As a feel-good romantic comedy and a low budget independent film involving common people, the film suits the sensibilities of the Academy members if we go by the list of foreign language Oscar winning films of the past. The reactions to the film after its Cannes Critics’ week premiere were quite enthusiastic as well. The Critics’ Week director Charles Tesson had described it to a reporter as a film that ‘marks a departure from traditional Bollywood melodramas that make up the bulk of Indian production. It’s a refreshing and utterly charming comedy that could have been made in Hollywood.’
The reviewers of the leading American film trade magazines had also appreciated it. Michael Barker and Tom Bernard of Sony Pictures Classics had paid glowing tributes to the film and had said, ”THE LUNCHBOX is one of those enchanting movies that will have audiences and critics floating on air. We are so happy to be bringing this movie to the American public. This movie represents the birth of a major international filmmaker.”
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(Rajesh Kumar Singh is Editorial Consultant for Festivals and Markets for BollywoodTrade.com. He is a filmmaker, critic and market analyst)