Highlights

  • India snubs SS Rajamouli's RRR to represent it at the Oscars 2023
  • 'The last show' is India's official Oscar entry at the Oscars
  • 1957 film Mother India was the first Indian film to be nominated for Oscar

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From 'RRR' to 'Dharm', Indian films failed to make it to the Oscars

SS Rajamouli's 'RRR' was snubbed by India to represent it at the Oscars 2023. Here's a look at some other movies that could've won an Academy Award

SS Rajamouli’s ‘RRR’ failed to be India’s official entry for Oscars 2023 after weeks of speculation, and despite being a fan-favorite and box office hit worldwide. ‘Last Film Show’ (Chhello Show), directed by Pan Nalin, will be representing India in the best international feature category at the 95th Academy Awards.
However, this isn’t the first time that a much-hyped film has been ignored by the Film Federation of India (FFI). Our country has been sending official entries to Oscars since 1957 and there have been many controversies surrounding the selection process in the past.

Here’s a quick look at the major ones:

2022: ‘Chhello Show’ beats ‘RRR’
Ram Charan and Jr NTR starrer ‘RRR’ impressed the audience worldwide and it has received a lot of appreciation from many foreign filmmakers and reviewers, including Marvel directors. Seeing the craze, everyone was quite sure that the film would make it to the Oscars race. However, FFI felt that the Gujarati film ‘Chhello Show’, which is based on a young boy’s love for cinema, would be a better choice. This left many fans upset.
‘Chhello Show’ and Italian classic ‘Cinema Paradiso’ have a similar theme and plot.

2019: ‘Gully Boy’ beats ‘Tumbbad’
‘Tumbbad’, directed by Sohum Shah, is believed to be one of the greatest Indian horror films ever made. This sleeper-hit film was compared with Pan’s Labyrinth and Eraserhead. It received international appreciation as well, and publications such as The Hollywood Reporter and Reuters had praised the film.
It was a frontrunner for Oscars, but the FFI selected Zoya Akhtar’s ‘Gully Boy’ instead. This decision was criticized by many.
The critically acclaimed Ranveer Singh-Alia Bhatt starrer had similarities in themes to numerous Hollywood movies such as ‘8 Mile’.

2013: ‘The Good Road’ beats ‘The Lunchbox’
‘The Lunch Box’, starring Nimrat Kaur and Irrfan Khan, was premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival and was among one of the best Indian films of the year. Talks of Ritesh Batra’s film being nominated for an Oscar were doing the rounds, but FFI selected the Gujarati film ‘The Good Road’ instead.
This irked ‘The Lunchbox’ director and he penned an angry open letter to the FFI. ‘Sir, please use your good offices to give us a transparent, objective process with a public and not a secret jury,’ he wrote. Following this, the FFI demanded an apology.
Later, Sony Pictures Classic’s Tom Bernard told Deadline, ‘What India might be doing is nominating the best movie in India, but not the best in world cinema.’

2007: ‘Eklavya: The Royal Guard’ beats ‘Dharm’
Starring Pankaj Kapur, ‘Dharm’ narrated the story of an orthodox Hindu priest, whose wife brings home an orphan Muslim boy during communal riots and shows how over time, he develops a connection with him.
The Bhavna Talwar directorial closed the World Cinema Section at Cannes and bagged awards in many festivals, including Cancun and Palm Springs.
Ahead of the Oscars race, Films Distribution, France even acquired its global distribution rights.
However, the film lost to ‘Eklavya: The Royal Guard’. This sparked controversy and even the Bombay High Court questioned the FFI to explain their choice, also getting the Academy involved.

2005: ‘Paheli’ beats ‘Swades’
‘Swades’, directed by Ashutosh Gowariker, showed how a NASA engineer goes back to his village and advocates for reforms during his stay.
Since the director’s previous film ‘Lagaan’ had won an Oscar nomination, people hoped that this film too, will make it to the Academy Awards. But the FFI chose Shah Rukh Khan’s ‘Paheli’, which didn’t even receive a positive response in India.

Also Watch: Shanaya Kapoor on her Bollywood debut with 'Bedhadak': 'I earned this opportunity'

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