Amol Paleker to chair India’s Oscar jury for selecting country’s official entry

Veteran filmmaker-actor Amol Palekar has been appointed as the chairman of India’s Oscar jury which will select the country’s official entry in the Best Foreign Film category for the 88th Academy Awards to be held early next year.

The 70-year-old actor whose directorial ‘Paheli’starring Shahrukh Khan and Rani Mukherji was India’s official for the Oscars, 2005, will be heading the 17-member jury, Supran Sen, Secretary General of the Mumbai-based Film Federation of India (FFI) told PTI.

“I am happy that I have been appointed as the chairman of India’s Oscar jury,” said an ecstatic Palekar. He also said that the process for the selection of films was yet to begin. “I will have a meeting first with our esteemed members and work out the selection criteria,” he added.

The actor has worked in Bollywood films like ‘Gol Maal’, ‘Choti Si Baat’, ‘Naram Garam’, ‘Gharonda’ etc and also appeared in regional films including Marathi, Bengali, Malayalam and Kannada. He also directed National Award-winning films like ‘Dhyaas Parva’ and ‘Quest’.

India’s official entry for the foreign film category last year was Geetu Mohandas’ Hindi road drama ‘Liar’s Dice’ starring Geetanjali Thapa and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in lead roles. The film was selected from among ‘Shahid’, ‘Queen’, ‘Mardaani’, Marathi films ‘Yellow’ and ‘Fandry’ and Bengali films ‘Jatishwar’ and ‘Apur Panchali’ .

‘Mother India’ and ‘Salaam Bombay’ are the only other two Indian films to have made it to the top five. The 88th Academy awards event will take place in Los Angeles on February 28.