‘Water’ and ‘Rang De Basanti’ as entries for Oscar nominations
Deepa Mehta’s Hindi film ‘Water’ has been selected as an entry for the Oscar nominations. However the film has been selected as an entry from Canada in the ‘Best Foreign Film Category’. The film was earlier supposed to be made in Varanasi in India and depicts the plight of widows in Varanasi. Unfortunately due to its controversial matter, the film faced a lot of problems from several political parties in India. Deepa finally shot the film in Sri Lanka with actors John Abraham and Lisa Ray.
However distributor Ravi Chopra has now decided to distribute the rights of the film in India. Hopefully the film will soon be released in India. Deepa Mehta was extremely happy that her film would be a Canadian entry for the Oscar nominations; she said “I’m especially proud since Water was up against many formidable films. It’s a very big moment for me.” Deepa also claims that the entire Oscar publicity and marketing for Water will be done by international distributors Fox-searchlight.
However Water will have competition from India’s very own entry for the Oscar nominations, ‘Rang De Basanti’. This UTV produced film which was directed by Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra received rave reviews from the Indian audiences and was up against several other films like ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai’, ‘Yun Hota To Kya Hota’, ‘Kabhie Alvida Na Kehna’ etc. But this film which revives patriotism amongst the youth and also juxtaposes modernism with history and India’s glorious past has been nominated as India’s entry for the Oscar nominations. Producer Ronnie Screwvala says “I am delighted that RDB has been chosen as India’s official entry to the Academy Awards. We shall make every effort to ensure it is seen by as wide an audience as possible internationally too. Hence we are also planning a mainline release in the United States in association with two major studios.”
This is the second time that an Aamir Khan film has been selected as an entry for the Oscar nominations, earlier Aamir’s home production ‘Lagaan’ was selected as an entry for the Oscar nominations from India. Actor Aamir Khan says “I am extremely happy with the selection. We’re proud of RDB, so we’re glad to take an important film to an international forum.” Aamir Khan feels that RDB has a good chance to win an Oscar nomination due to its great script, its unusual form and also most importantly as it is a relevant film that has had a huge impact on the Indian audiences. Aamir claims that he will definitely promote and support the film and that he may also try to make appearances at the screenings held in America, unfortunately he will also be busy with his other shooting schedules for his films. Rang De Basanti was also seen at this year’s Golden Globes Awards .
Even director Rakeysh claims that he had a gut feeling that RDB would be selected as India’s entry for the Oscar nominations. The talented director states “We have already had our reward, we made the film with our hearts and everyone loved it, both the media and the public. After the film was declared a hit, the film started growing even more and touched subliminal levels. This entry to the Oscars is the people’s victory.”