SET Pictures gets shot in arm with Oscar nomination for 'Lagaan'

Sony Entertainment Television Pictures, which had bought the overseas distribution rights of Lagaan, can look forward to a boost in earnings with the Oscar nominations announced on Tuesday.

Lagaan has been nominated in the best foreign film category, and Sony and Columbia Tristar are set to reap the benefits of an Academy award nomination, which has come India's way after a long time. Cashing in on the nomination, Columbia Pictures, the distribution arm of Sony Pictures Entertainment, has been roped in to handle the global re-release of the Aamir Khan starrer, this time in overseas territories where even white viewers dominate. The film, released on 15 June 2001, was initially distributed by Sony Entertainment Television Pictures only in countries with a sizeable Indian population. 

The first venture of Sony Entertainment Television Pictures, a division of SET, was Mission Kashmir, released worldwide in a record breaking number of cinemas (at that time) around the world in December 2000 and was featured in the all time Top 20 overseas Bollywood grossers. 

Lagaan is a saga of triumph of hope over power, set against the backdrop of the British Raj. In its first weekend itself, the critically-acclaimed Lagaan entered the American charts (crowded with summer mega-movies like Tomb Raider, Shrek and Pearl Harbor) at an impressive number 15.

Ironically, the Indian channel that reaps the benefits of an increased Indian interest in the Oscars award ceremony on 25 March will be Star Movies, which will be telecasting the function live.

Meanwhile, Viacom's Nickelodeon has won a nomination for Best animated feature film of the year with Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. Jimmy is Nickelodeon's first 3-D, computer graphics imagery (CGI) animated character. This is the first time the channel has developed a product that covers the idiot box, the big screen and the online component simultaneously. The TV series and the film are likely to make an Asia premiere soon. 

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