Film Federation of India demands unconditional apology from The Lunchbox director

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The Lunchbox

Mumbai:  Upset with director Ritesh Batra and producer Anurag Kashyap’s vocal disapproval of the selection of Gyan Correa’s The Good Road as India’s Oscar entry over Batra’s The Lunchbox, the Film Federation of India (FFI) has sent a scathing letter (a copy of which is with this paper) to Batra asking for an unconditional apology for what the FFI sees as his ‘unsavoury comments’ over their choice.

In the strongly worded letter the FFI says it has taken ‘great umbrage’ to the way Batra has gone about ‘demeaning a film’ selected by an ‘eminent jury’. The letter asks him, “Are you suggesting that you seriously believe that no one in India is capable of making a better film?” The letter further goes on to question his confidence about The Lunchbox being eminent Oscar-worthy, wondering how the film’s international distributors Sony Classics were so confident about it winning the Oscar.

The letter asks Batra, “Are you suggesting that the Oscar is rigged? We are taking this matter up separately with the Academy. We are lead to believe that you have a letter from Sony Classics which is the reason for your confidence.” The letter goes on to say that the FFI so far ignored Batra’s ‘constant rantings’ as ‘result of acute disappointment of a young boy with his debut film’. But now the FFI says it will take the matter up with the Ministry of Information & Broadcasting since Batra in his Facebook account has accused the process of selecting the Oscar entry of being corrupt.

The letter ends with the FFI demanding an unconditional apology.

When contacted, Batra said, “I haven’t seen the letter.”

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