Mera bachha daud sakta hai toh use daudnahi chahiye. Isliye mujhe jo karna hai woh toh main karunaga [If my child can run, I will see to it that he will be in a race]," says Ravi Rai, who produced the Marathi film, Tingya. The critically acclaimed film lost out to Aamir Khan's Taare Zameen Par, as India's official entry to the 81st Annual Academy Awards in the Foreign Films category.
Now, Rai has decided to enter Tingya in the Oscars race independently.
Tingya, a beautiful made film by first-time director Mangesh Hadawale, shows the emotional bond between a old, ill bull and a boy in rural India. Ravi Rai had faith in Mangesh's story and gave him complete freedom to make the film. This, at a time when no other producer was willing to finance the film. Mangesh had already faced rejection from 40 producers when he narrated the story to Rai.
"He was the 41st producer and the first one, who showed faith in my vision and supported me to realise my dream. I am with him all the way for the Oscars race," said Mangesh.
Both Mangesh and Ravi Rai have a special attachment towards Tingya. It has won many national and international accolades and awards including the Freepreski Jury award at the MAMI film festival held in Mumbai last year. Interestingly, Tingya beat TZP at the same festival and was the unanimous choice of the international jury panel.
Though he is miffed about the rejection, Ravi Rai says, "It was a tougher choice this year than last year. Tingya is good but so is TZP, and the other films in the fray. It must have been tough for the selection committee.
"I was told that the few points that went against Tingya was that Aamir can promote TZP better than we can. Also, that Tingya lacked technical finesse. But how can you compare between a film made on a budget of Rs 27 lakhs to a film made on a budget of Rs 27 crores? If that is so, then why do Majid Majidee's films win awards? This should not be a thumb rule, not even a point of consideration. What one should see is the integrity of the filmmaker, the storyline, the relativity, the impact of the film. So I am taking my film independently to the Oscars. I have started the process. I will spare no effort for my bachha!" Rai exclaimed.
Mangesh, who is already busy with his new film, Package India, is also unhappy about Tingya being surpassed. "No doubt TZP is a good film. But my film has won more than 37 awards. It has won over TZP in festivals and has been appreciated by foreign juries. So naturally I feel disappointed. But we will be in the race," said Mangesh.
May the best film win!