After Pan Nalin’s Gujarati film Chhello Show or The Last Film Show was announced as India’s official entry for the Oscars 2023, fans of SS Rajamouli’s RRR, Vivek Agnihotri-helmed The Kashmir Files and other hit films were left rather disappointed. However, the recently released Oscars 2023 reminder list has renewed their hope. Members of the Academy have already voted for who all should be in the running for the top film prizes this year.
Shortlists for 10 categories had been announced in December — which included four films from India. Ahead of the final announcement on Tuesday, January 24, here is a look at those works:
Pre-independence epic RRR was placed in the Best Original Song shortlist (for Naatu Naatu) along with tracks from Avatar: The Way of Water, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and others.
Naatu Naatu has already won two big awards — the Golden Globe and the Critics’ Choice Award. RRR won a second Critics Choice honour for Best Foreign Language film.
Directed by SS Rajamouli, RRR stars NTR Jr. and Ram Charan in leading roles.
Gujarati-language film Chhello Show or The Last Film Show is director Pan Nalin’s semi-autobiographical exploration of his childhood fascination with films.
The film is part of the Oscars’ International Feature Film shortlist, along with the German anti-war movie All Quiet on the Western Front and Joyland from Pakistan, among others.
Chhello Show has won wide praise for cast performances, cinematography and direction.
All That Breathes
Documentary film All That Breathes chronicles the lives of brothers Nadeem and Saud, whose lives in Delhi are dedicated to caring for birds at a makeshift basement hospital.
“As legions of birds fall from New Delhi’s darkening skies, and the city smolders with social unrest, two brothers race to save a casualty of the turbulent times: the black kite, a majestic bird of prey essential to their city’s ecosystem,” the film’s synopsis reads.
All That Breathes is in the Academy’s Documentary Feature Film shortlist. Among other top contenders on the list is Fire of Love, an American-Canadian documentary about volcanologist couple Katia and Maurice Krafft.
All That Breathes had won the ‘Oeil d’or, or the Golden Eye Award, at the 75th Cannes Film Festival in May 2022.
The Elephant Whisperers
Another Indian documentary (short), running for an Oscar nomination, is Kartiki Gonsalves’ The Elephant Whisperers. The Tamil-language film delves into the lives of a couple who spend their time caring for a baby elephant named Raghu, forming an unlikely family in the process.