Chhello Show, a Gujarati film, has been chosen as India’s submission for the Best International Feature Film category at the 95th Academy Awards.
The Kashmir Files and RRR were the two films rumoured to be India’s entry for the category, with the latter gaining the most traction in the West. Since its release on Netflix, the SS Rajamouli epic has gained a wider audience, with international media, filmmakers, and fans praising the filmmaker’s wildly imaginative storytelling.
SS Rajamouli has in fact even attended multiple screenings in the US and addressed the audience as part of his efforts to boost the chances of RRR at the Oscars.
Last year, Tamil drama Koozhangal (Pebbles), directed by filmmaker Vinothraj PS, was selected as India’s official entry in the Best International Feature Film category. The film, however, could not make it to the shortlist.
What did make it to the final list was Indian documentary feature Writing With Fire, which bagged a nomination at the 94th edition of the Academy Awards. Directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh, Writing With Fire was the first Indian feature documentary to be nominated for the Oscars. It lost the Oscar to Summer Of Soul (Or, When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised).
So far, no Indian film has ever won an Oscar. The last Indian movie that made it to the final five in the best international feature category was Ashutosh Gowariker’s Aamir Khan-starrer Lagaan in 2001. The other two Indian movies to have made it to the top five are Mother India (1958) and Salaam Bombay (1989).
In 2019, rural India-set film on menstruation titled Period. End of Sentence won the Oscar in the Documentary Short Subject category. It was directed by award-winning filmmaker Rayka Zehtabchi and co-produced by Guneet Monga’s Sikhya Entertainment.
The 95th Academy Awards will be held on March 12, 2023, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.