A small clip from the film
| Chitra Nair, TNN 21 September 2009, 03:23am IST
‘Harishchandrachi Factory’, a Marathi film based on the making of the country’s first film, was on Sunday chosen India’s official entry for the Best Foreign Language film at the Oscar Awards next year.
Directed by theatre veteran Paresh Mokashi, it is only the second Marathi film after ‘Shwaas’ in 2004 to be chosen for Oscars. The film is based on the experiences of Dadasaheb Phalke during the making of ‘Raja Harishchandra’ in 1913. No Indian film has won a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. ‘Lagaan’ received a nomination in 2002, but lost to ‘No Man’s Land’ from Bosnia.
“Harishchandrachi Factory’ has been selected as India’s official entry for Oscars in 2010. The announcement was made in Mumbai on Sunday,’’ Sushama Shiromanee, honorary general secretary of Film Federation of India, told TOI.
The film, the first by its director, beat competition from 15 other movies, including ‘New York’ and ‘Delhi 6’, to make the grade.
The film has Nandu Mahadev and Vibhavari Deshpande playing Phalke and his wife. The other members of the cast include Mohit Gokhale, Atharva Karve, Dilip Joglekar and Pravin Tarde. It has already won several awards, including best director, best film and best art direction at the 46th Maharashtra State Film Awards, and also for best director at Pune International Film Festival early this year.
The Mumbai-based Paresh Mokashi said, ‘‘The news is a bolt from the blue, but a pleasant one. The inspiration was Phalke himself. Learning about how he made the film and what he went through prompted me to base the movie on the subject,’’ he said.
Mokashi said it unsettled him that people knew just two things about Phalke — he made India’s first feature film, second an award instituted in his name is handed out every year for lifetime contribution to Indian cinema