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India’s Oscar entry Chhello Show actor Rahul Koli dies of cancer at 10

New Delhi: Rahul Koli, the Chhello Show or Last Film Show child actor, died of cancer at the age of 15. He was one of six child actors in the film, which is India’s official entry for best international feature film at the 95th Academy Awards.

“On Sunday, October 2, he had his breakfast and then after repeated bouts of fever in the following hours, Rahul vomited blood thrice and just like that my child was no more. Our family is devastated. But we will watch his ‘last film show’ together on the release day on October 14 after we perform his final purification rituals,” his father Ramu Koli told Times of India. Rahul was his eldest child.

Last Film Show is set at the dawn of the digital revolution, inspired by Pan Nalin’s own experiences of falling in love with movies as a youngster in rural Gujarat. Set in a distant rural hamlet in Saurashtra, the film chronicles the narrative of a nine-year-old child who pays his way into a decrepit movie palace and spends a summer watching movies from the projection booth, sparking a lifelong love affair with cinema.

The film, which stars debutant child actor Bhavin Rabari as Samay, premiered at the 2021 edition of the New York-based Tribeca Film Festival, which was founded by Hollywood veteran Robert De Niro. On October 14, it will be released in theatres. Last Film Show will be exhibited in 95 cinemas throughout India on the day before its official release, with tickets priced at Rs. 95.

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