The Film Federation of India (FFI) has demanded an unconditional apology from the makers of "The Lunchbox" for the comments against the apex body over the selection of "The Good Road" for India's official entry for Oscars.
FFI in their letter to Ritesh Batra, director of "The Lunchbox", said that "FFI takes great umbrage at the way you have gone about demeaning a film when an eminent jury has selected it as India's entry."
The letter was also addressed to the producers, Kashyap and UTV, and to Karan Johar's Dharma Production, the film's presenter, for making the derogatory comments.
Ritesh, however, apologised to FFI saying the apex body and jury have his 'wholehearted apology'.
Here is full text of Batra's reply:
I just received your letter. Many industry stalwarts have made comments similar to mine but you sent the letter to me, a debutant filmmaker, but I am honoured and proud to speak for my film and team. If an apology is what you demand, you have it. Both you and the jury have my wholehearted apology.
There was no intent to hurt anyone, but rather to participate in the vigorous debate that this decision ignited in the public domain.
I sincerely hope that the annual reactions to our Academy selections from the national press, and this year from even the international press, prompt a new policy for the selection. Sir, please use your good offices to give us a transparent, objective process with a public and not a secret jury. It is a direct and humble request, not a criticism.
I have moved on from this debate to focus on more productive pursuits and I would encourage everyone to do the same. With much respect for your tough job.