Bollywood director Rahul Rawail, a part of the 17-member jury that collectively chose "Court" as India's official entry for the Oscars, on Wednesday resigned from the panel over differences with jury chairperson Amol Palekar.
Soon after "Court" -- a Marathi courtroom drama directed by first-timer Chaitanya Tamhane -- was announced as India's official entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 88th Academy Awards, the news of Rawail leaving the jury started doing the rounds.
When IANS asked Rawail about it, he confirmed the news over the phone from Hyderabad, saying that it's "true".
"I've been hearing that people feel that I was not happy with 'Court' being selected. It is false. I am very happy with 'Court' and I'm proud of it," Rawail said of the movie, which even won the National Film Award in the Best Feature Film category for 2014.
"I'm 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."
However, Rawail -- who has directed films like "Jo Bole So Nihaal" and "...Aur Pyar Ho Gaya" -- clarified that he is not blaming Amol for manipulating for "Court".
"It is not that he manipulated for 'Court'. People are saying that Amol must have manipulated for 'Court' because 'Court' is a Marathi film. That is wrong," Rawail said and added that Amol's "general conducting of proceeding was often manipulative".
The Film Federation of India (FFI), which selects the country's official entry in the Best Foreign Film category of the prestigious Academy Awards, to be held in Los Angeles on February 28 next year, appointed Amol as the chairman earlier this year.
Amol's own directorial "Paheli" was chosen as India's official entry for the Academy Awards in 2005. But it failed to make the cut to the final nomination list.