Eklavya will be India's official entry for the prestigious Oscar awards.
The decision to nominate the Amitabh Bachchan [Images], Saif Ali [Images] Khan-starrer film as the Indian entry for the awards was announced by Film Federation of India President Vinod Pande.
Vidhu Vinod Chopra-directed Eklavya has been nominated ahead of other films like the hugely-popular Chak De India, Gandhi My Father and Guru.
This is the third time that a film by 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.
Pahlaj Nihalani, president of Association of Motion Pictures and TV Programmes that selects the entry, said: "Yes, it is true that Vidhu Vinod Chopra's Eklavya has been selected as India's official entry to the Oscars."
However, Nihalani was peeved with the jury for selecting a film 'rejected by Indian masses.'
"It is disgraceful that the jury has selected a movie for the Oscars, which has been rejected by the people. I don't see any logic behind selecting this movie when there were other deserving movies like Chak De India, he told PTI.
"If this is the taste of the jury, then it is better they leave the industry. Eklavya does not deserve an Oscar entry. This is a clear case of partiality. The selection has been done under the influence of certain people, which is shameful," he said.
According to Nihalani, such a step will spoil the image of Indian film industry, which is getting global attention now.
"The way Indian films are becoming globally recognised, wrong decisions like this will only spoil our hard-earned goodwill. This is blatant misuse of power," he said.
Meanwhile, Eklavya director Vidhu Vinod Chopra is 'elated' by the news. "But this was only the first battle," he says. "The real one is still ahead. I'm leaving for the US on October 2, 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."
With PTI Inputs