14 Indians At The Oscars!
The Indian film fraternity is currently prepping to submit their nominations for the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 90th Academy Awards, which will be held on March 4, 2018, in Los Angeles. However, what’s making bigger news is the contingent of film personalities which is joining the large pool of voters at the Academy of Motion Picture, Arts and Sciences (Ampas). Some of our biggest stars (most of whom need no introduction!), joining the world’s biggest stars at this year’s Oscars—take a look at who has made the cut.
1. Amitabh Bachchan
The face of Indian cinema, one of the few legends who is still making a mark with his groundbreaking movies like Pink, and one of our BIGGEST stars. His work got him not just many accolades, both critical and commercial, but got him honors from the Government of India, the Padma Shri, Padma Bhushan, and Padma Vibhushan. The Government of France also honored him with its highest civilian honor, Knight of Legion of Honor, for his exceptional career.
2. Aamir Khan
The perfectionist. The ‘I don’t attend Indian film awards.’ No surprises that Aamir Khan is one of the chosen ones picked to represent us at the AMPAS. Lagaan, Rang De Basanti, Taare Zameen Par, PK, 3 Idiots, and most recently Dangal—need I say more?
3. Salman Khan
Known as one of India’s most humble actors, Salman Khan is an internationally recognised actor, and probably one of the last actors we’re going to see in the industry with such a loyal fan base. Bole toh bhai ikdam dabangg hai boss.
4. Priyanka Chopra
The one who ‘made it’! PC is the person everyone looks at in Hollywood and says, “hey, you’re that Bollywood chick right!?” Starting off her career by winning Ms World, she then proceeded to take Bollywood, and now Hollywood, by storm – her huge body of work spanning over 50 movies actually just speaks for itself.
5. Irrfan Khan
The token Indian guy in every Hollywood movie; we’ve seen him in Piku, The Lunchbox, and most recently in Hindi Medium, but he’s internally known for his roles in movies like Spiderman, Jurassic World, and Slumdog Millionaire. The actor with the acclaim and the fame, his spot on this list is a given.
6. Deepika Padukone
With a badminton star for a father, one wouldn’t expect Deepika to reach the heights she has in Bollywood! The long-legged beauty, next in line to set Hollywood ablaze, came in with Om Shanti Om and made sure everyone knew she was there to stay. I’m really glad she did – she’s a delight to watch on the big screen!
7. Aishwarya Rai Bachchan
The most beautiful woman in the world… But that’s not all there is to Aishwarya. Winning Miss World, winning a Padma Shri, acting in Hindi, Tamil and English movies, and being the first Indian actress to be a jury member at the Cannes Film Festival, she has made her presence felt all over the world.
8. Mrinal Sen
The second oldest invitee (94), second to Betty White (95), Mrinal Sen is a legendary Indian filmmaker known for his depiction of social reality through his art. He is one of the greatest ambassadors of Indian parallel cinema on the global stage. A winner of multiple national awards, and awards from major film festivals across the world including Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Moscow, Chicago, Montreal, and Cairo among others, and a part of the jury at some of these film festivals, he’s a genius in his own right.
9. Goutam Ghose
An acclaimed film director, music director and cinematographer, Goutam Ghose is part of the Indian film fraternity, and primarily works in Bengali cinema. A winner of 16 national awards and other notable prestigious international awards such as the Silver Balloon award and the UNESCO award, he is definitely a force to be reckoned with.
10. Sooni Taraporevala
She is an Indian screenwriter and photographer, best known as the screenwriter of The Namesake and Oscar-nominated Salaam Bombay (1988). She has trained in the craft from Harvard University and New York University, and has worked as a screenwriter writing commissioned screenplays for a wide variety of studios including Universal, HBO, and Disney. Alongside her impressive body of work, she has also been honoured with the Padma Shri by the Government in 2014.
11. Buddhadeb Dasgupta
A poet, and a contemporary filmmaker, Buddhadeb has made a mark with movies like Bagh Bahadur, Tahader Katha, Charachar, and Uttara. He uses filmmaking as a mode of expression, and has trained at the Calcutta Film Society which gave him exposure to works of directors like Carlie Chaplin, Roberto Rossellini and Michelangelo Antonioni. He is also the recipient of a large number of national awards alongside notable international awards as well.
12. Arjun Bhasin
The fresh looks in Rang De Basanti, Ghajini, and Dil Chahta Hai – credit goes to Arjun Bhasin, Indian costume designer and stylist. Although the trend is for our stars to go to Hollywood, Arjun found his way back after training at New York University Film School and working for several Hollywood films. He has also worked for Life of Pi, and is the fashion editor of GQ India.
13. Anand Patwardhan
A documentary filmmaker, Anand Patwardhan has received various awards, both locally and internationally, for his impressive body of work. Some of those include the prestigious Inspiration Award awarded in the Sheffield International Film Festival, which is conferred upon filmmaking legends, and the V. Shantaram Lifetime Achievement Award conferred upon him by the Mumbai International Film Festival.
14. Amrit Pritam Dutta
What people usually turns an ordinary movie into a fantastic one is its music, and here is the backbone behind the music we now consider legendary. A sound designer by profession, Amrit Pritam Dutta plays the usually underappreciated role of designing the sound for all these movies – PK, Enthiran, Slumdog Millionaire, Highway, Salaam-E-Ishq and Omkara.
All said and done, it’s an industry with true gems in every sense of the word. However, there are definitely some glaring absences **SHAH RUKH KHAN, KAPOOR KHAANDAAN**. I’ll accept, though. Let’s wait to see how this changes- if it even does change anything -the way we’re represented on the global stage.