Why Indian Movie Can Never Win Oscar’s Best Foreign Film Award
Indian jury must send movies that can proudly represent India
After I came to know that RRR was not India’s official entry to Oscar’s best foreign film category, I was disappointed. But I was upset when I read about the movie that was selected by the Film Federation of India (FFI) jury. This selection shows the mindset that the jury has when selecting movies for this award, which has been consistent in the last few years.
- Living in the colonial hangover.
Last year, the jury didn’t select a technically brilliant and engrossing movie, Sardar Udham, as India’s official entry for the Oscars fearing it might hurt “British sentiments”.
This year they didn’t select RRR, the movie that has become an international sensation, and every day you’ll find some YouTuber from some part of the world talking about this movie, even after nearly six months of its release. Again the reason might be the same: it might hurt “British sentiments”.
2. Selecting movies with stories set in poverty.
Go through this link to understand what I’m trying to say here. Most of the movies the jury selects are set in poverty. While a good movie set in poverty is not an issue, sending such movies every time shows that India wants to present itself as a poor country. Is that how the jury wants the world to see India on the biggest global platform for movies?
Or is the jury pandering to Americans’ love for movies that show countries’ poverty?
3. Selecting movies that are very similar to other foreign films.
This year, RRR stood a chance to make it to the final list of the best foreign movie at the Oscars. This is because many Americans, including celebrities from Hollywood, praised the movie on their social media accounts. Instead, Chhello Show (the story about a poor boy) has been selected as India’s official entry, which seems very similar to the Italian movie Cinema Paradiso (1988). Similarly, in 2019, Tumbbad stood a chance but at that time Gully Boy was nominated instead, which is again a story about a poor boy, and very similar to the Hollywood movie 8 Mile (2002). The 2017 movie Newton was India’s official Oscar entry, which seemed very similar to the Iranian movie Secret Ballot (2001).
FFI jury must keep its prejudices aside and choose better movies as India’s entry for the Oscars. Even if India doesn’t win the award, nothing will change. But at least the selected movie must make every Indian proud to have that movie represent their country on the global stage of cinema.