Documentary on Oscar lyricist bags award

Oscar Challagariga is about the hero's welcome Chandrabose received at this native village

Telugu documentary Oscar Challagariga, on Oscar-winning Indian lyricist Chandrabose, was adjudged the ‘Best Documentary Short’ at the Cannes World Film Festival, France, on Wednesday. The film beat off competition from entries from across the world, including two from the US which had made it to the nominees list.

Directed by Ch Sushil Rao Chilkuri, the documentary is about the celebrations in Chandrabose’s village, Challagariga, in Jayashankar Bhupalpally district of Telangana, when he went there in April for the first time after winning the Oscar. He was accorded a befitting welcome with music and dance, and the documentary captures the festive mood in the village.

The lyricist was in Amsterdam when he got the news about the Cannes win.
“When one of my friends sent me a text message, I was like ‘what?’ I am proud of the achievement and consider it another occasion to celebrate,” says Chandrabose, speaking from Amsterdam. “This award is on par with the Oscars and I am overwhelmed by the love that’s pouring in,” he adds.

The lyricist feels the film’s theme is a fresh one. “I never even thought a documentary could be made on such a theme. It is unique and innovative; perhaps that’s one of the reasons the film made the cut. The fact that the celebrations in a small village in India have caught the attention of the world is a matter of pride and great joy. The award is a great tribute to my village Challagariga,” he says.

“My childhood and school friends, college friends, alumni, relatives, and all the villagers felicitated me,” he shares.

Chandrabose describes the recognition for the short documentary as validation of the director’s work. He adds that since the video was unscripted and captured the emotions of the people, it is the natural form of storytelling.

Earlier this year, the lyricist won an Oscar (along with music composer M.M. Keeravani) for ‘Best Original Song’ Naatu Naatu from the film RRR. While the lyrics of the song brought alive the rawness of the rural culture, he says the Cannes award comes as another global endorsement of the village way of life.

The highlight of the documentary is an impromptu dance by Chandrabose’s wife, Suchitra, herself a renowned choreographer. Chandrabose laughs and says, “That’s what true emotions are all about, it brings out what you feel within and that’s why this documentary is very touching.”

Interestingly, Chandrabose was not aware of the documentary until it won a ‘Special Mention Award’ at the 12th Mumbai Shorts International Film Festival three weeks ago. “I was extremely surprised. I had not given any inputs; I started to interact with him only last week” the lyricist reveals.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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