India’s official entry to the Oscars is now out of the race and there were many other who were unexpectedly shown the door
Gyan Correa’s Gujarati film The Good Road is out of the best foreign film Oscar race after it failed to qualify in the Academy’s latest shortlist. Nine films will advance to the next round of voting in the category for the 86th Academy Awards out of 76 films that had qualified in the category.
The movie’s selection to represent India at the Oscars had created a lot of controversy as it was chosen over popular titles like The Lunchbox, Ship of Theseus and Bhaag Milkha Bhaag. Karan Johar, Anurag Kashyap, who were the producers behind The Lunchbox and the film’s director Ritesh Batra had openly slammed the Oscar committee in India for passing over their film for The Good Road.
The films that have made it to the Oscar shortlist in the category include An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker, a Bosnian and Herzegovinan film by No Man’s Land director Danis Tanovic, who has shot a film in India with Emraan Hashmi. Belgium’s entry The Broken Circle Breakdown by Felix van Groeningen is in the list so is Denmark’s critically acclaimed drama The Hunt. Directed by Thomas Vinterberg, the film, about a man wrongly accused of child molestation, generated a lot of buzz at Cannes this May. Cambodia’s The Missing Picture by Rithy Panh has made it to the list so has Germany’s Two Lives by Georg Maas. Master-director Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmaster, a historical martial-arts movie about Bruce Lee’s teacher Ip Man is in the list. Hungary’s The Notebook by Janos Szasz and Italy’s The Great Beauty, another festival favourite, directed by Paolo Sorrentino, is in the list while from Palestine, the Academy has selected Omar by Hany Abu-Assad.
The most surprising snub was the exclusion of Iranian director Asghar Farhadi’s The Past as it was being considered as a front-runner after a very positive festival run. Farahadi’s 2012 film A Separation had won Iran its first Oscar. Other films that were expected to but did not make it to the list are Egypt’s Winter of Discontent, Israel’s Bethlehem.
The shortlist will be winnowed down to the five nominees by specially invited committees in New York and Los Angeles on January 10 and 12. The final five names will become public with the Oscar nominations on January 16, 2014 in the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2013 will take place on March 2 at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center.