AR Rahman is in the Oscar race again
Musical maestro AR Rahman is once again in the running for the Oscars, this time for his work in Pele: Birth of a legend; Ginga, Rahman's acclaimed number from the movie is in the initial list of Oscar contenders for 2017. It has been nominated for the Original Song category. Final nominations will only be announced on 24 January.
Mother India featuring Nargis and Sunil Dutt, Rajendra Kumar and Raj Kumar was directed by Mehboob Khan in 1957. It was nominated in 1958 for the 'Best Foreign Language Film' at the 30th Academy Awards. Nights of Cabiria defeated Mother India by 1 vote. Widely acclaimed in India, Mother India's miss at the Oscars was greatly felt by the Indian audience.
The first Indian to receive an Oscars was when Bhanu Athaiya won the award for the Best Costume Designer for Gandhi in 1982. In 1992, Satyajit Ray received an honorary Academy Awards at Oscars.
In 1989, Salaam Bombay directed by Mira Nair became the second Indian movie to be nominated for Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. The 1988 movie was a tale of the lives of children living on the streets of Mumbai. The movie won the National Award for Hindi Film in India. The movie won Golden Camera and Audience Award at the Cannes Film Festival.
Lagaan was written and directed by Ashutosh Gowarikar and was released in 2001; it was based in colonial India around the game of cricket. The film saw itself being nominated in the foreign film category for 74th Academy Awards in 2002. The movie was made with a whopping Rs.250 million. The movie didn't just win critical acclaim but also was a huge commercial success.
Other than movies, Vidhu Vinod Chopra's directorial debut 'An Encounter with Faces' won a nomination in the 'Best Documentary on Short Subjects' category and Ashwin Kumar's short film 'Little Terrorist' too got a similar nomination at the Oscars.
The year 2008 was by far the best year for Indian Cinema as 3 Indians won Oscar awards in their respective genres. Russell Pookutty was awarded for Best Sound Mixing (with Ian Tapp and Richard Pryke) for Slumdog Millionaire. AR Rahman too won for Best Score and Best Original Song for the same movie. Indian lyricist Gulzar won Best Song (lyrics) for Slumdog Millionaire.
Indian movies may not have been able to bag an Oscar but movies with Indian influences did. 2008's Slumdog Millionaire directed by Danny Boyle; Life of Pi directed by Ang Lee (2012) and Gandhi (1982) directed by Richard Attenborough all had an Indian connection.
The Marathi movie 'Court' was selected by a 17 member FFI jury headed by Amol Palekar to represent India for Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards. The court which is Chaitanye Tamhane's directorial debut had also attained this year's National Award for Best Feature Film. The movie is based on a trial which takes place in a lower court in India.
Chaitanya Tamhane's Marathi film Court failed to make it in the Academy's latest shortlist. Court had beat PK, Masaan, Mary Kom, Haider, Kaaka Muttai and Baahubali to reach the current round. 9 out of 80 films have gone ahead in the race for the Oscar for foreign language film. Amongst these 1 is from Mideast and South America each, the rest hail from Europe.
Priyanka Chopra who garnered accolades for her role in American thriller Quantico has been given the honor of being a presenter at the 88th Oscars. Priyanka will be India's only representative at the 2016 Oscar ceremony. Academy's Twitter handle posted a picture showing Priyanka's name along with other presenters. The actress tweeted saying: "Looking forward @TheAcademy !! This will be an insaaaane night!"