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India and the Oscars

posted 12 Dec 2010, 04:42 by Vinay Jalla   [ updated 12 Dec 2010, 04:54 ]

'MOTHER INDIA' - First Indian film at the Oscars

India has sent over forty films to the Academy Awards in Best Foreign Film category since 1957. Only three Indian films have been nominees and no Indian film has won the award yet.

It’s not all dull and gloom. Indian cinema icons have had their share of fame at the Oscars. Kamal Haasan, undeniably India's most versatile actor, has represented India at the Oscars seven times as an actor.

The 1957 'Mother India' was the first Indian film to feature at the Oscars. Mira Nair’s directorial debut, 'Salaam Bombay', became the second Indian film to be nominated for best foreign film in 1989.

Aamir Khan’s 'Lagaan' reached the final stage in the 2002 Oscar race for the best foreign film. But the three hour 44 minute cricket drama lost out to Bosnia’s 'No Man’s Land'. In 2008, his production and directorial debut 'Taare Zameen Par' failed to make it to the top five.

'Slumdog Millionaire' represented a turning point for Indian artistes at the Oscars. A R Rahman scooped up two awards for Original Score and Best Song, along with poet-writer-director Gulzar. Resul Pookutty shared the award with two others for sound mixing.

'Peepli Live' is India's official entry in the 83rd Academy Awards ceremony taking place in February 2011 in Hollywood, California. The film is an Indian comic satire that explores the topic of farmer suicides and the subsequent media and political response.

Some argue that Indian movies are just not good enough for international standards and promoting commercial movies at the Oscars is a recipe for disaster. The fact is Indian cinema is not far behind Hollywood in terms of technology, direction and drama.

Hollywood is already turning eastwards. Aamir Khan would be seen in Danny Boyle's ‘Maximum City’ and Shah Rukh Khan will be acting in Paul Schrader's ‘Extreme City’. I'm sure the two Khans will sizzle on the screen. Time to get your popcorn and samosas...!

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