The Oscars and South Asian cinema
This is a newspaper article selected for the excellence of its content.
Indian entries: 1957-2016
The Film Federation of India, the apex body of the movie industry, is the authority that decides the country's entry in the best foreign language film category at the Oscar awards.It has decided to submit Tamil film Visaaranai in 2016.Mehboob Khan's `Mother India' was India's first submission for this award. So far, only three Indian films have reached the final nomination stage as best foreign film
Indians invited by the Academy
Superstar Shah Rukh Khan, Tabu and veteran actor Naseeruddin Shah are among a record 928 new members invited by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as the body behind the Oscars seeks to enhance diversity. In an annoucement, the Academy said the new members will increase the diversity in a major way as 49% of its invitees are female and 38% are people of colour. India features prominently in the list of the new invitees that includes female stars Tabu and Madhuri Dixit, Tabu’s ‘Viraasat’ co-star Anil Kapoor and actor Ali Fazal. Veteran Bengali actors Soumitra Chatterjee (‘Bridge’) and Madhabi Mukherjee (‘Charulata’) are in the list of invitees as well.
The Oscars and Indian cinema
Bollywood and Oscars over 100 years of Cinema
Tejashree Bhopatkar, The Times of India, Apr 25, 2013
On completion of 100 years of Indian Cinema, it's definitely an unfortunate moment that despite of honest attempts Indian movies could not win any Oscar Awards.
Since 1957, India has sent 45 films as its official entry for the Oscars. Out of these, only 3 films - Mother India (1957), Salaam Bombay (1988) and Lagaan (2001) were nominated for the Oscars in the "Best Foreign Language Film".
Not many know that An Encounter with Faces was filmmaker Vidhu Vinod Chopra's first directorial attempt and interestingly won a nomination at the Oscars. It was a short documentary film by Chopra and nominated in the 'Best Documentary on Short Subjects' category where in Ashwin Kumar, son of fashion designer Ritu Kumar, made his entry to the Oscar nomination list with his short film ' Little Terrorist'. This 15-minute short was about a boy who crosses the line of control between India and Pakistan.
Indian Oscar winners
On the other hand, if not Bollywood movies as a whole, we have Indians as Oscar winners. India received its first Oscars in 1982, when Bhanu Athaiya won the award as the Best Costume Designer for Richard Attenborough's film Gandhi in 1982.
Exactly after a decade Satyajit Ray received honorary Academy Awards at Oscars.
2008 was the best year for Indian Cinema as Bollywood cash in 3 Oscar awards. Russell Pookutty won Best Sound Mixing (with Ian Tapp and Richard Pryke) for Slumdog Millionaire, followed by A.R Rahman won Best Score and Best Original Song (music) again for Slumdog Millionaire, Gulzar won Best Song (lyrics) for Slumdog Millionaire.
Films with Indian connections
Gandhi (1982), an epic biographical film which dramatises the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. It took an Englishman, Richard Attenborough to make the best biographical film on India's most prominent freedom fighters Mahatma Gandhi. Ben Kingsley portrayed Gandhi to perfection. Gandhi went on to win 8 Oscar Awards.
Slumdog Millionaire (2008), an India- based movie with a Hollywood producer, Danny Boyle. Slumdog Millionaire shot entirely in India and with an almost Indian cast won as many as 8 Oscars in different categories.
Life Of Pi (2012), again a film produced by foreign producers yet have Indian actors like Irfan Khan, Tabu, Suraj Sharma and is also filmed in India.
Water, starring John Abraham, Lisa Ray, Seema Biswas which was again produced by David Hamilton. Deepa Mehta's Water was another film with an absolute Indian setting, Indian cast and Indian language but won an Oscar nomination for the Best Foreign Language Film from Canada, since the producer was from that country.
Fund for promotion at Oscars, international fests
The government has created a film promotion fund to promote Indian cinema in international film festivals. The initiative would help independent filmmakers to promote their work across the globe.
Announcing the move, Union information and broadcasting minister M Venkaiah Naidu on Tuesday said the fund would provide financial assistance to create a buzz around films selected an international film festival of repute or if it is India's official nomination to the Academy Awards under the foreign film category .
Directorate of film festivals has been designated as the nodal agency for implementing this initiative based on the recommendations of a panel of experts constituted by the government.
The Oscars and Pakistani cinema
50 years later, Pakistan to submit Oscar entry
TNN | Aug 3, 2013
Pakistan’s official entries under the foreign language film category
Between 1947 and 2013 Pakistan sent two entries to the Oscars:
1959 (Akhtar Kardar's Jago Hua Savera)
1963 (Khwaja Khurshid Anwar's Ghunghat).
2013: The committee constituted to select Pakistan's official entry
From Pakistan, renowned film makers and writers will join hands to form a part of the core selection committee.
Heading the committee are prominent people including writer Mohsin Hamid (The Reluctant Fundamentalist), director Mehreen Jabbar (Ramchand Pakistani), actor Rahat Kazmi, filmmaker Akifa Mian, Samina Peerzada and arts academic Framji Minwalla.
Further reports by the media quote debutant British-Pakistani director Hammad Khan, whose film Slackistan was banned in Pakistan. He said that Pakistan has been so pre occupied with wars, coups and religion that cinema really has no place in the country nor has it taken the art form seriously.