Peepli Live ends the Oscar race

MUMBAI: Peepli Live, India‘s official entry to the Oscars for Best Foreign Film, has been left out of the nine films shortlisted by the Academy.

The list will be further scanned before the five final nominees would be announced on 25 January. It may be recalled that Peepli Live had edged out other critically acclaimed films from India like Udaan and Raajneeti to claim the top spot.

Now the films that are still in the Oscar race are Mexican film Biutiful, Algeria‘s Hors la Loi, Canada‘s Incendies, Denmark‘s In a Better World, Greece‘s Dogtooth, Japan‘s Confessions, South Africa‘s Life, above All, Spain‘s Tambien la Lluvia and Sweden‘s Simple Simon. 

Previous Indian nominations for Best Foreign Film have been few and far between. Mother India became the first Indian film to make the cut in 1958. Three decades later, Mira Nair‘s Salaam Bombay! became the second film to make it to the final five in 1988. Another 14 years later in 2002, we saw the third Indian film Lagaan being sent to the Oscars. The golden man eluded all three films, as it did Ashvin Kumar‘s Little Terrorist, nominated for Best Live Action Short Film in 2004. And now Peeepli Live.

Though Indian films may have not won an Oscar, the country’s film personalities have had better luck with individual Oscars. In 1982, Bhanu Athaiya won Best Costume Design for Gandhi. A decade later, Bengali filmmaker Satyajit Ray was given the Honorary Oscar for Lifetime Achievement in 1992. And 2009‘s Slumdog Millionaire sweep included an Oscar for sound mixing for Resul Pookutty and two Oscars (Best Score and Best Song) for music maestro A R Rahman.

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