A 15-member jury of the Film Federation of India, headed by director Shaji N Karun, met in Kolkata earlier this week to select India’s entry to Oscars 2022.
They will watch 14 films – including Shoojit Sircar’s Sardar Udham, starring Vicky Kaushal, and Amit V Masurkar’s Sherni, starring Vidya Balan, to select a film that will represent India.
Regional films in the running include the Yogi Babu-starrer Tamil movie Mandela and Martin Prakkat’s Malayalam feature Nayattu.
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Sardar Udham, which released on Amazon Prime Video, is the biopic of Sardar Udham Singh, who avenged the Jallianwallah Bagh massacre by assassinating Punjab’s then lieutenant governor Michael O’Dwyer. Sherni chronicles the life of a forest officer who has to catch a man-eating tigress in a remote village. The film is a study of human-animal conflict, as well as corruption.
Also see: ‘Nayattu explores behaviour, not identity’
Nayattu stars Joju George, Nimisha Sajayan and Kunchacko Boban in the lead roles. The film is about three police officers who go on the run after being framed of murder. Mandela, by Madonne Ashwin, is a satire about a barber who is wooed by politicians after it turns out that his is the deciding vote in the local elections.
Also read: A ‘Mandela’ is required to restore India’s electoral morality
The 94th Academy Award will be held in March 2022 in Los Angeles. Last year, Lijo Jose Pellissery’s critically acclaimed Malayalam film Jalikattu was India’s entry at the Oscars, though it failed to make it to the Best International Feature Film shortlist. Karishma Dev Dube’s short film, Bittu, however, was nominated in the Best Live Action Short category.
No Indian film has ever won an Oscar. The last Indian film that made it to the final five in the Best International Feature category was Ashutosh Gowariker’s Lagaan in 2001. Mother India (1958) and Salaam Bombay (1989) are the other two Indian movies to have made it to the shortlist.