The chairman of the committee that selected India's entry in the best foreign film category in this year's Oscars has accused the motion picture Academy of making "disparaging" comments about the selection. In an interview with Reuters, Vinod Pande discussed correspondence with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in which the Academy noted that the director of the critically acclaimed Dharm had gone to court to have the selection overturned, claiming that the judges were friendly with the producer of Eklavya, the film they selected. (Eklavya had received mediocre reviews, Reuters said, and flopped at the box office.) In its letter to Pande, the Academy said it was surprised to learn of the lawsuit and raised questions concerning the judging standards of the selection committee. "But I have told them we have strong democratic values and that an aggrieved person had every right to seek justice in court," Pande told the wire service.
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