Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Eklavya - The Royal Guard, has been voted as India's official entry to the Oscars. This is the third time Director Vidhu Vinod Chopra will be going to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. His short non-fiction film, AN ENCOUNTER WITH FACES was one of the first Indian films to be nominated for an Oscar in 1980. In 1989, Parinda was sent to the Oscars as India's official entry.
Commenting on this news, Director Vidhu Vinod Chopra said, "I'm elated by the news. But this was only the first battle. The real one is still ahead. I'm leaving for the US on 2nd October and will start my groundwork there. I'm banking on my previous experiences at the Academy and the overwhelming support the film has received in the West. I hope to make India proud."
Eklavya - The Royal Guard has already received accolades in Hollywood. The film got a standing ovation at the Billy Wilder Theater in UCLA, where it was recently screened as part of the India Splendour Film Festival. Robert L. Friedman, the former President of Columbia Pictures and AMC Theaters applauded it as one of the great foreign films to have graced Hollywood in recent years. He further added, "The caring and most talented direction by Vidhu Vinod Chopra is worthy of maximum praise and awards. Mr. Chopra has created a masterpiece via this film, thanks to his genuine insight and love for his film vehicle. EKLAVYA is a movie that transcends all geographical boundaries - a movie for all people, everywhere, it represents the very best that India's great filmmaking community has to offer."
Lionel Wigram, Producer of the HARRY POTTER films, said "It's a masterpiece and I can safely say that it stands an excellent chance of winning India a much awaited Oscar in the foreign film category." Jeffery Silver, Producer of the film 300, found it to be "a thriller that elevates to the level of art."
The critics have also been unanimous in their praise:
Something about "Eklavya: The Royal Guard" suggests a lost film by David Lean.
- LA Times
"...Gives any House of Flying Daggers set piece a run for its money."
- Metro, UK
"Vidhu Vinod Chopra is a poet on celluloid"
- Times of India
"Far from typical. Very strong and very Shakespearean"
- The Sunday Telegraph, UK
"Robustly unassuming and entertaining"
- Guardian, UK
"This is robust storytelling, with blood and thunder pumping through its veins, and real whiskers on its face."
- LA Weekly
"Vidhu Vinod Chopra's propulsive 'Eklavya - The Royal Guard' has epic sweep."
- LA Times