Three Indian films make the Oscar nominations in various categories. Will they win?
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What do 3 Oscar nominations signify for the Indian cinematic industry?
It is not a fluke. After a stunning Golden Globe win for Best Original Song with Naatu Naatu, S.S. Rajamouli’s magnum opus RRR, starring has won an Oscar nomination. RRR, starring Ram Charan and N.T. Rama Rao Jr. in lead roles, makes the Oscar’s Best Original Song shortlist with Naatu Naatu, the catchy tune with its even catchier hook step.
An Academy Award win for Naatu Naatu would be the first Oscar for music director M.M. Keeravaani and lyricist Chandrabose, and the first Indian song triumph at the Oscars. But that is not the only nomination for India’s cinematic industry.
Two Indian-made documentaries also made it to the Oscar nominations – All That Breathes for best documentary feature film and The Elephant Whisperers for best documentary short.
Shaunak Sen’s All That Breathes is nominated for Best Documentary Feature, while Kartiki Gonsalves and Guneet Monga‘s have a nomination for The Elephant Whisperers in the Best Documentary (Short Subject category).
The Gujarati-language Chhello Show (Last Film Show) by filmmaker Pan Nalin, that India submitted for best international feature, failed to land a nomination. Nor did Vivek Agnihotri’s The Kashmir Files, or R. Madhavan’s Rocketry find a mention.
Creating history at the Oscars
Following the announcement, the RRR’s filmmakers tweeted, “WE CREATED HISTORY!! Proud and privileged to share that #NaatuNaatu has been nominated for Best Original Song at the 95th Academy Awards. #Oscars #RRRMovie”
S.S. Rajamouli took to Twitter to say, “Hearty congratulations to All That Breathes and The Elephant Whisperers. This is the first time India has had so many nominations… I believe this is just the beginning. Jai Hind.”
Long overdue recognition
In a separate tweet, he paid homage to M.M. Keeravaani, “Like many of your fans feel, this recognition indeed was long overdue. But as you say the universe has a strange way of rewarding one’s efforts. If I can talk back to universe, I would say Konchem gap ivvamma. okati poorthigaa enjoy chesaaka inkoti ivvu.”
Oscar nominations in the past
However, three nominations at the Oscars are a first for the Indian film fraternity which have not featured at the main Academy Awards since its inception in 1929.
In the past, the Academy recognized India in the foreign language and documentary categories. It nominated Mother India in 1958 for Best Foreign Language Film. Then 1961 and 1969 drew nominations for The Creation of Woman (Best Short Subject (Live Action)) and The House That Ananda Built (Best Documentary (Short Subject)) respectively.
The first time Indians won in multiple categories was for Gandhi in 1983. Bhanu Athaiya won for best costume design and Ravi Shankar shared with George Fenton for best original score.
2009 brought multiple nominations for Slumdog Millionaire. Resul Pookutty won for Best Sound Mixing, Gulzar shared the win for Jai Ho Best Original Song, with A.R. Rahman, who also won for Best Original Score.
The nods within the expansive Oscar nominations list give a much-needed boost to the Indian cinema industry
Though commercial Indian films have been crowd pleasers the world over, an Oscar win will boost Indian film acceptability in the West at a critical level.