Vikas Khanna: ‘Neena Gupta told me films are made with heart’

Chef-turned-author-turned-filmmaker Vikas Khanna had submitted his debut directorial feature The Last Color for nomination in the Best Film category at Oscars 2020. While his film did not make the cut, Khanna says he is grateful to veteran actor Neena Gupta, who features on the cast, for guidance.

“Neena Gupta always told me that films are made with a lot of heart. I said, trust me I got the heart and passion to make the film and I will make it, and I have made it. It was challenging to get the ball rolling. Numerous people didn’t join the team, they had their own presumptions about what sort of movie this is. I firmly believed in the story, and I knew the story is the hero. The friendship between the characters is the hero of the story,” said Khanna.


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Talking about the eligibility and chances of his film at the Oscars, he had earlier said: “My film is eligible for the nomination in the Best Feature Film category at Oscars 2020. It is an important day for me. It is a miracle for me. This is a big deal for anyone who dreams, and dreams with full conviction.”

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For a film to be eligible for entry for a possible nomination in the Best Film category at the Oscars, it needs to fulfil a few conditions. First, it must be more than 40 minutes long and its public premiere must have been in a movie theatre during the appropriate calendar year. It must have premiered in 35mm or 70mm film format or in 24-frame, progressive scan digital format. Importantly, the film must have played commercially in a Los Angeles County theatre for seven consecutive days within the appropriate calendar year. Khanna ensured his film fulfilled all of the above conditions.

However, while any filmmaker can obtain an entry into the Oscar race fulfilling the above conditions, it does not mean the film has been accepted for nomination. Whether Khanna’s film makes the actual nominations list will be known in a few hours from now.

The Last Color is a film about the daily struggles for survival on the streets of the ancient city of Varanasi, India. The film stars Neena Gupta in the lead role.

The film addresses the age-old taboo surrounding widows in Vrindavan and Varanasi in India. The It deals with how a nine-year old tightrope walker befriends a widow and promises to add colour to her life. The film is adapted from Khanna’s own book The Last Color.

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