The Oscars have not typically featured many Indian films, yet few have earned a name for themselves and received the coveted award. We look at it.
The Elephant Whisperers for Best Documentary Short Film, All That Breathes for Documentary Feature Film, and “Naatu Naatu” from RRR for Original Song all made it onto different lists in the Oscar nominations revealed Tuesday evening.
Since the Academy Awards’ founding in 1929, Indian films have not enjoyed a particularly successful run. But over the years, numerous artists have taken home the prize in various categories.
The late Bhanu Athaiya, who was born in Kolhapur, Maharashtra, desired to be an artist. Later, she realized that creating clothing was a more “practical” line of work, and she went on to work on numerous well-known Hindi films, including Pyaasa (1957), Amrapali (1966), Guide (1965), and Swades (1968).
She received India’s first Oscar for Best Costume Design for her work on Gandhi (1982).
Athaiya, who appeared in more than 100 movies, took home two National Awards for her roles in Ashutosh Gowariker’s Lagaan and Gulzar’s mystery drama Lekin from 1990.
One of the most admired directors in Indian history is Satyajit Ray. In 1992, he received an Academy Honorary Award “in appreciation of his exceptional mastery of the art of motion pictures and of his profound humanitarian outlook, which has had a significant impact on filmmakers and spectators around the world.”
Ray was also awarded with The Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian honor.
For their work on Slumdog Millionaire (2008), Ian Tapp, Richard Pryke, and Resul Pookutty shared the award for best sound mixing. Graduate of the Film and Television Institute of India (FTII), Pune, Pookutty has worked in many Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu movies, including Pushpa: The Rise (2014), Highway (2014), and Kochadaiiyaan (2014), which stars Rajinikanth (2021).
With the 2009 Malayalam movie Keralavarma Pazhassiraja, he received a national award.
A. R. Rahman in the Oscars list
A R Rahman is known as the “Mozart of Madras.” For his work on Slumdog Millionaire, A. R. Rahman became the first Indian to win an Academy Award in two categories: best original song (for “Jai Ho”) and best original score. O Saaya, another song from the movie, was also up for Best Original Song honors.
Rahman, who was born in 1967, has had a successful career spanning more than three decades, garnering both critical and popular acclaim. Along with multiple overseas ventures, he has composed music for a variety of Indian film industries, primarily Tamil and Hindi films.
Rahman’s breakthrough performance in the Mani Ratnam-directed film Roja earned him a National Award (1992).
Oscars for Best Original Song: Gulzar
As the recipient of the Academy Award for Best Original Song for his work as a lyricist on “Jai Ho” from Slumdog Millionaire, veteran poet-lyricist Gulzar shared the honor with Rahman. The artist has received 20 Filmfare Awards and several national awards.
Nearly ten years after his Oscar victory, in 2019, he remarked, “The song won the award due to A R Rahman.” Nevertheless, Sukhwinder Singh also made the song popular by putting a lot of effort into it. Overall, I’d say that everyone agrees that the song won the Oscars, thanks to music legend A. R. Rahman.
In addition, the documentary Period. End of a Sentence, which is based in the Hapur district of Uttar Pradesh, earned a prize for Best Documentary (Short Subject) in 2019. The documentary was made by the Sikhya Entertainment company of Indian producer Guneet Monga and directed by Iranian-American Rayka Zehtabchi.
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