Amit Masurkar’s ‘Newton’ (2017) is India’s official entry to the Oscars and has been given one crore rupees by the Indian government.
DNA reports Rajkummar Rao, the lead actor of the film saying that “It was unexpected. But certainly needed. I spoke to the relevant official and he assured me of all possible support and cooperation in our journey to the Oscars. We, my director and I, had no idea as to how to proceed to the Oscars. The Government’s fund has opened up doors. Now we just need to walk through those doors.”
When asked about what was to happen next, Rao reportedly said, “We need to sit down and chalk out a plan. My producers Munish Mundra and Aanand Rai will be meeting up with people who have experience in taking our cinema to the Oscars”. Rumour has it that Aamir Khan and Anil Kapoor will be called upon for Oscar advice.
Rao went on to say that he will have to take time off to be in America for the important task of promoting the film in the run up to the Oscar nominations. “I understand, I have to be in America for a while and I am prepared to take time off. It is pointless to expect ‘Newton’ to make the cut without our effort. We need to push our film to the furthest point possible.”
After the announcement of ‘Newton’ as India’s official entry to the Oscars, an unexpected plagiarism charge and a debate on its eligibility had come to light.
Supran Sen, the Secretary General of the Film Federation of India, who decides which film is to go to the Oscars was reported saying that, “The Iranian film has been around for 16 years. Newton was premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in February. If at all there were similarities between Newton and the other film, why didn’t anyone notice it? Why did this question suddenly come up after the film was selected by us to go to the Oscars?”
Sen confirmed that this debate wouldn’t change anything for the film. He said, “No rule for the Best Foreign Film category at the Oscars states that any likeness to any other film in any form is a disqualification. We’ve full faith in the team behind the film and we stand by the film, as of now.”