FFI denies Rahul Rawail’s charges; says there was no wrongdoing

The Film Federation of India (FFI) has denied the accusations made by filmmaker Rahul Rawail and said there was no transgression in the process of selection of film for the Oscars. It also said that Rawail, who quit the jury in a fit of fury, should have alerted senior officials before going public with his allegations.

National Award-winning Marathi film ‘Court’ was chosen as India's official entry to Oscar 2016 by a 17-member jury headed by Amol Palekar two days ago. Soon afterwards, Rawail tweeted that he had resigned from the jury and blamed Palekar for being “obnoxious.”

FFI secretary general Supran Sen in a statement said, "While we would not like to comment on Mr. Rawail's opinions which are his own, what we would have appreciated is a situation where he could have spoken to the FFI President and other senior officials before going to the media. We would like to maintain that all the norms and regulations governing the selection process were followed and the Federation is happy with the process."

Sen also added that he was present at the final proceedings and "did not see anything amiss in the way it was conducted."

Rawail had accused Amol Palekar with being “obnoxious” and “manipulative.”

"I am proud that we had a great jury and some wonderful people who have a great knowledge of cinema and love for it. There was no issue in that, but yes there was one manipulative man. His name is Amol Palekar, who is the chairman of the jury. He is a complete manipulative person," the ‘Jo Bole So Nihal’ director told IANS.

"Our chairman Amol Palekar had only one agenda right from the beginning that ‘Court’ shouldn't come. He was very adamant that somehow ‘Court’ should be removed. I don't know the reason behind this but it is true. You can ask anyone else in the jury about it and they'll say that it is correct," he added.

On the other hand Amol Palekar said, "All of us including him (Rahul Rawail) have signed an undertaking with the FFI. We are sworn to be secretive and I will not breach it till I get permission to open my mouth. On a personal level I choose not to respond to his allegations.

“In my career of 45 years, such adjectives were never attached to my name and now if they are being attached, I think the whole process is complete that's all. Whatever he wants to say is his prerogative. I will not surrender my grace and dignity if someone else chooses to," the filmmaker was quoted by NDTV.