Oscars 2023: 'Chhello Show' child actor Bhavin keeps his fingers crossed

'Good that we have reached this stage', says the 12-year-old


As a young boy of an ordinary family from a village in Jamnagar district of Gujarat, 12-year-old Bhavin Rabari’s exposure to the world was limited to some districts of his state and a few places in Rajasthan, especially having Goddesses’ temples. 

Now on his second visit to the US, he is literally chilling out. 

Chhello Show, a Pan Nalin-directed Gujarati movie that has been shortlisted in top 15 in Oscars 2023 in Best International Film Category, has changed it all. 

Bhavin, the lead child artist who played Samay in the movie, has been moving in the top movie circuit as the screenings of the film are being done. 

“I have picked up English. After the screening I only do the talking and don’t let anyone else speak,” Bhavin told THE WEEK from Los Angeles. “I hold people’s hands and ask them to come and dance with us,” he says. 

Bhavin keeps his fingers crossed ahead of the Oscars ceremony. “Only Lord Dwarkadheesh knows whether the movie will get the award or not. It is good that we have reached this stage. The film should get award for good acting, laughter, hunger, food and Fazal (the movie theatre operator),” he says. “It will be good for the country if we get the award,” he adds. 

The movie revolves around how this young boy is mesmerized by movies and film making and how his family (his father is a tea stall owner) allows him to go to the city to pursue his dreams. The Last Film Show is India’s official entry to the Academy Awards. 

Like shown in the movie, young Bhavin is attached to his friend. “Even before I took your call, I was speaking with friends back home for almost an hour,” he said. 

A fan of Hardik Pandya, he wanted to take up cricket but now the focus is on movies. “I will do movies. I have got some offers which my father (he is a bus driver) knows. However, anything else will happen after our campaign for the Oscars ends,” he says. 

Bhavin has learnt table manners and is happy eating Gujarati food from a nearby restaurant. He, however, misses spicy Ghugra, a famous snack of Jamnagar and sweet pan. He does miss his parents but says if he thinks of them then he would lose the focus from work. “I had stayed away from my parents for months during the shooting of the movie,” he says. The shoot was wrapped up just before Covid-19 broke out in India. 

Ask him whether he responds if called as Bhavin or Samay, he says either is okay for him. 

“Once I am back in India, I will be given extra classes for what I have missed,” he says. Bhavin studies in a government school.