It is a big day for Indian cinema with three nominations at the 2023 Oscars. One for Best Original Song and two for Documentary. Filmmaker S S Rajamouli’s catchy musical number for his three-hour Telugu epic RRR, Naatu Naatu, is among his nominees announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Tuesday. The nomination is a further boost for the song, which was released earlier this month and also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Song.
Despite not being submitted as India’s official Oscars pick, RRR, an unapologetically over-the-top action flick, has built grassroots support to become a hugely popular favorite in Hollywood in recent months. Its fans include Avatar director James Cameron, who was seen praising Rajamouli in a recent video that went viral on social media, prompting hopes of a best picture Oscar nomination.
The film India instead submitted for best international feature, Gujarati-language Chhello Show (Last Film Show) by filmmaker Pan Nalin, failed to land a nomination.“No shade to the movie they did choose, which is actually very good, but RRR was a slam dunk,” Variety senior awards editor Clayton Davis said.
The 2021 Lighting With Fire Best Documentary Award goes to All That Breathes and Best Documentary Format Award goes to The Elephant Whisperers. Shaunak Sen told Indian broadcaster NDTV that it took him three years for his team to produce the documentary. He called the documentary an “environmental, emotional and socio-political history” of the city’s old neighborhoods.