Mumbai:21/9/19:Zoya Akhtar directorial Gully Boy, starring Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt in the lead roles, has been declared as India’s official entry for the 92nd Academy Awards in the Best International Feature Film category, earlier known as Best Foreign Language Film category.
Gully Boy is a coming-of-age drama centred around the life of aspiring rapper Murad, portrayed by Ranveer. The film was inspired by the real-life stories of Mumbai rappers Divine and Naezy. The film released on February 14 this year to widespread critical acclaim. Alongside Ranveer and Alia, Gully Boy also starred Siddhant Chaturvedi, Vijay Raaz and Kalki Koechlin.
The other films in contention were Anandi Gopal, AndhDhun, And The Oscar Goes To, Article 15, Baba, Badhaai Ho, Badla, Bandishala, Bulbul Can Sing, Dear Comrade, Ghode Ko Jalebi Khilane Le Jaa Riya Hoon, Gully Boy, Hellaro, Kesari, Konttho, Kurukshetra, Mai Ghat: Crime No 103/2005, Nagarkirtan, Olu, Oththa Seruppu Size 7, Pahuna, Super Deluxe, The Tashkent Files, Uri: The Surgical Strike, Uyare and Vada Chennai. Gujarati film Chaal Jeevi Laiye was disqualified from the race.
A few countries have already announced their candidates for the prestigious award. While Japan has selected Makoto Shinkai’s Weathering With You, the 2019 Palme d’Or-winning, Parasite, will be South Korea’s official entry to the Oscars. Iran picked Finding Farideh, a documentary film by Kourosh Ataee and Azadeh Moussavi as its entry. Game Of Thrones’ Carice Van Houten stars alongside Marwan Kenzari in Instinct, which is the Netherlands’ official pick this year.
Last year, Village Rockstars was selected as India’s official entry to the 91st Academy Awards. The film, which was shot using a hand-held camera within a shoe-string budget, was selected from 29 films that were nominated including Raazi, Padmaavat, Hichki, October, Love Sonia, Mahanati, Pihu, Kadvi Hawa, Bioscopewala, Manto, 102 Not out, Padman, Bhayanakam, Ajji, Nude, Gali Guliiyan among others.
So far, only three films from India have made it till the last round and were, as a result, nominated in the foreign language film category at the Oscars – Mehboob Khan’s Mother India (1957), Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay! (1988), and Ashutosh Gowariker’s Lagaan (2001).