Bollywood with Oscar Award
The prestigious Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, honour the best talent in film, be it Hollywood or International cinema. While India sends an official entry to the Oscars every year, no Indian film has won under the Best Foreign Film category. While Indian themes have dominated and won at the prestigious awards ceremony (Gandhi and Slumdog Millionaire as examples), There Indians have walked away with the Golden statue.
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.
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 honorary BhanuAthaiya 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.
If talking about Oscar wining movies and Indian connections, one should not forget the renowned movie Gandhi in 1982, an epic biographical film which dramatises the life of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi. It took an Englishman, Richard Atten borough to make the best biographical film on India’s most prominent freedom fighters Mahatma Gandhi. Ben Kingsley portrayed Gandhi to perfection. Like Slumdog Millionaire, Gandhi too, wasn’t an Indian film though it was widely shot in India and had several Indian actors in its cast. And like Slumdog, Gandhi too went on to win 8 Oscar Awards.
The next movie would be obviously Life Of Pi, again a film produced by foreign producers yet have Indian actors like Irfan Khan, Tabu, Suraj Sharma and is also filmed in India.
The last but not the least is Water, starring John Abraham, Lisa Ray, SeemaBiswas which was again produced by David Hamilton. DeepaMehta’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.
That was all about Bollywood-Oscars and Indian connections in Oscars over 100 years of Cinema. Hope Bollywood cash-in few more Oscars in the nearing future.