Film directed by a Goan is India’s only film still in contention for the Oscars
a multi-lingual international film has kept India's hope of winning an Oscar alive. And it is
a matter of great pride to Goans especially Cuncolcars that the film has been
written and directed by a Goan, namely, Milroy Goes.
The well-known personality from Cuncolim has put Goa on the map
with this impressive achievement with this film qualifying for the 91st Academy
Milroy speaks to Cafe about his journey, competing with other international films and the support they have received from around the world:
HERALD CAFE: Can you talk us through the process in connection to the film qualifying for the Oscars. If you can explain how the film reached to this level and what happens next?
MILROY GOES: Firstly, my production Manna Mohie Films, back in United Kingdom had sent the movie to the Academy, after we were initially selected to contest. We had to go about the public screening and Q&A’s at Laemmle’s Theatre in Los Angeles. It’s a process to see the film content eligibility. Since it was a Multi-lingual film, for contesting, it was considered in the General Category. We had our share of space in Los Angles for a week and kept our fingers crossed. Although there was an Indian Film as India’s official Entry in Foreign Category, we hoped our film would qualify. But we were happy that at least our film was selected to contest, which is a rare scenario. We were the only Film from India in General Category. We were in L.A for more than 15 days, and as soon as I returned to India, they had declared the list of Qualified Foreign Category, and India wasn’t in it. A week later from my visit to L.A, I received an email from The Academy, saying “Welcome M1LL10NS film is included on our list of eligible features in the General Entry category, which is viewable on their website. And our film is still under consideration in all other General Entry categories (Best Picture, Directing, Editing, Acting, etc.). While we have to wait for the nominations to be announced on Tuesday, 22 January 2019, we were so glad that our film qualified and is in the final race.
HC: How do you feel about this achievement and the fact that this is India's only film to have qualified?
MG: I was getting calls from various media houses from Delhi, Bombay, Punjab to cover the story. They were like; we found out the list on Oscars and were looking for the Director’s contact number. It feels so good that our method of “Multilingual Filmmaking” and treatment to the modern cinema is accepted in USA. They have considered it as International Film. It is not easy to make it to the Oscars, unless the country selects. But if the film is made with a vision that is attractive to global audiences, and is in line with Hollywood and international standards, then there is a way to it. When we applied, we didn't apply as a Regional Language Film. We just sent it, so they could decide in which Category we fall in. And now, being the only Indian Film at the Oscars race, I pour out my gratitude’s to my mentor / producer Manpreet Singh aka Manna Mohie, for believing in the fact that Multilingual is Modern Cinema. And many thanks to my actors like Les Menezes, Sohan Borcar, Joanne Da Cunha, Late Razak Khan, Kathryn Michelle, Dylan Rodrigues, Jagjit Bhoparai and Comedian Selvy for their dedication. Though we were a relatively new Production, everything went well.
HC: This is a big achievement for Goa as well and you have received a lot of feedback from your home state.
MG: I have always tried to improve my skills in every film I worked on and this is the result of it. I am happy that Goa is proud about it. I do get lot of attention and encouragement. I love that. It’s just not Goa, I have received appreciation from Punjab, United Kingdom, Los Angeles, Goans in Dubai and Canada.
HC: What are your thoughts on getting nominated and the platform this achievement itself offers you? It certainly is a massive boost for you and your team.
MG: Yes, true. This is a big boost for me and my entire team. I personally love the idea of Multilingual. As Goa is multilingual, we have people who can speak in Konkani, Portuguese, English, Punjabi, Russian, German, French, Hindi and Marathi. I’m thinking on those lines. I’m quite keen on using Portuguese language along with Konkani in my next film. And no matter what happens with regards to the Oscars, it will not change my aim on what I’m going to do next.
HC: What’s next for you?
MG: Currently, I am working on Cover Songs and Original Songs with Shashaa Tirupati (National / Filmfare Award Winning Singer). Apart from that, there’s a script in progress too. And also there’s a music video for Michael Learns To Rock ( MLTR) in the pipeline.
HC: Can you talk about your journey in the film industry?
MG: I’ve started off making Short Films, as part of my learning. While I was learning about making Shorts, one of my films was screened at IFFI Chota Cinema Contest back in 2008. This later gave me a boost to continue learning further. I learned by watching films and the making of the films. There were no resources like YouTube resources back then, so learning was totally by filming and editing. I had great interest in writing too. Back then I was mentored by a Frenchmen “Anthony Coombs-Humpreys” on his visit to Goa. He saw that I can brush up my talent. He and his wife Christine, supported me and encouraged me to work with Bollywood. So then, I made a Short Film with a Bollywood actor “Deepraj Rana”,.and therafterr moved on to bigger cinematic projects, like “The Victim”, “Adeus Moga”. After that, I was approached by Manna Mohie Films, from UK. They had a brief meeting with me, Manpreet Singh along with one senior film director from Punjab, Balbir Begampuri. After this discussion and analysing my work knowledge, they signed me up for their Production and not just for one film. Now surely, they have a reason, to make more films with me.
HC: Can you share with us your Goa background
MG: I was born to Portuguese-Goan parents. While both my parents are not here anymore, I’m sure they would have been proud. My late mother's name is Piedade Cardoso e Gois and my late father's name is Vincent Floriano Gois. I was born in Margao and bought up in Cuncolim Town. I did my schooling at Our Lady of Health High School. After my higher secondary, I took a drop out and perused self-study. Apart from that, I was actively involved in Social Clubs such as Junior Chamber International (JCI). Since I was good at art like painting and sketching, I self learnt; Photoshop, Corel Draw and web designing, such as Java, HTML, PHP. I was initially working at a web designing firm, and in two years, I started off my own. I wasn’t totally satisfied, so I begin to explore filmmaking and I was hooked and have never stopped learning filmmaking. And today, it’s my profession.
HC: On a final note, is there anything else you would like to tell our readers?
MG: I would love to associate or collaborate with anyone. Sometimes, people think, after achieving this - my film qualifying for the Oscars, I may be difficult to find or too expensive to work with. Well, I just want to let our people know, I’m a workaholic, if there is a good content coming my way, I wouldn’t see the price tag. I’m just a call away! I’m also very active on instagram @MilroyGoes
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