v!be
editorial

welcome to yet another edition of v!be.


issue #13

Now that this year's American Academy of Motion Pictures OscarĀ© awards are over, lets take a trip down memory lane in search of India at the Oscars. Though it is fair and true that our films do not require American "appreciation" to be judged as excellent cinema and that India has always had her ample share of awards at Cannes and other ceremonies, clinching an award at the Oscars doesn't harm oneself does it?

awards:

So lets begin with the winners-

1982 saw Bhanu Athaiya (along with John Mollo) win the award for Costume Design for GANDHI. She's also designed costumes for Lagaan and Swades among others.

It's 1991 and India's most respected filmmaker, Satyajit Ray is honoured with a special "Oscar" in recognition of his "rare mastery of the art of motion pictures, and of his profound humanitarian outlook, which have had an indelible influence on filmmakers and audiences throughout the world." Past recipients of this most prestigious award include Walt Disney, Orson Welles,Bob Hope, Charlie Chaplin, Fred Astaire, Cecil B. deMilles, Douglas Fairbanks and Sophia Loren.

nominations:

Now from winners to worthy candidates.

Three Indian films have had the distinction of making it to the nominations for Best Foreign Film category - Mehboob's Mother India(1957), Mira Nair's Salaam Bombay(1988) and Ashutosh Gowarikar's Lagaan(2001).

An Encounter With Faces, by Vidhu Vinod Chopra, was India's first nomination in 1979 for the Documentary(Short Subjects) category at the Oscars. Vinod Chopra's documentary about Bombay street children received acclaim for the technique of the film: direct, unwavering conversations with children, neither patronizing nor pitying.

After a quarter century, The Little Terrorist, from director Ashvin Kumar, is the second Indian film to be nominated for an Oscar(2005) in the live action short film category.

As luck would have it, none of them emerged winners, but they did manage to garner international admiration and made all of us proud.

and more...

And then of course there has been no dearth of Indian born people laying a claim to the coveted prize. The biggest name among them is of course Ismail Merchant. Born in Bombay, educated at St. Xavier's University (Bombay) his films have created a whole new Merchant-Ivory aura and been nominated several times:

  • Nominated for Short Subjects (Live Action Subjects) 1960: THE CREATION OF WOMAN - Producer (w. Charles F. Schwep)
  • Nominated for Best Picture 1986: A ROOM WITH A VIEW - Producer at Merchant-Ivory
  • Nominated for Best Picture of the Year 1992: HOWARDS END - Producer at Merchant-Ivory
  • Nominated for Best Picture of the Year 1993: THE REMAINS OF THE DAY - Producer at Merchant-Ivory (w. John Calley & Mike Nichols)

Then our very own Mr. India, Shekhar Kapur wowed the world with his film Elizabeth which received 7 nominations (including best picture) in 1998 and landed a best actress award for Kate Blanchett.

Not to forget the whooping success of movies with India/Indians as themes like Sir Richard Attenborough's 1982 multiple-Oscar winner (including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor for Ben Kingsley) GANDHI and David Lean's A Passage To India (with 11 nominations and the best original score and best supporting actress awards)

All in all we have had quite a good track record at the Oscars; of course that proves/disproves nothing, we love our films and that's all that matters. Still it's good to see how "cinematic excellence" can cross borders and impress people from all over the world with their universal themes.

-sumandatta
(editor)

This week:

1 Comments:

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