'Village Rockstars' out of race; Indian connect remains with 'Period. End of Sentence' (Lead)
Los Angeles : Assamese movie "Village Rockstars", India's official entry for the best Foreign Language Film category at the 91st Academy Awards, is out of the race, but the Indian connect remains with "Period. End of Sentence".
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences on Monday announced shortlists in a few categories, outlining the titles which have advanced to the next round of voting for the coveted awards.
A Guneet Monga co-produced short documentary, "Period. End of Sentence" is about women in India fighting against the deeply rooted stigma of menstruation, and it delves upon the work of real life 'Pad Man' Arunachalam Muruganathan.
Directed by award-winning Iranian-American filmmaker Rayka Zehtabchi, the film is created by The Pad Project, an organisation established by an inspired group of students at the Oakwood School in Los Angeles and their teacher, Melissa Berton.
The 26-minute film follows girls and women in Hapur in northern India and their experience with the installation of a pad machine in their village. The film also delves upon Muruganantham's invention of an easy-to-operate machine that makes low-cost sanitary napkins using supplies that are readily available in India.
It is among ten films that have advanced from a total of 104 films in the Documentary Short Subject category for the Oscars 2019.
After the Oscar shortlist was announced here on Monday, Monga posted on Instagram: "Waking up to this shortlist! So proud and so exciting... I am so humbled to be a part of the producing team."
As for the Foreign Language Film category is concerned, nine films out of a total of 87 films have been shortlisted.
Das said the road to the Oscars may have ended for "Village Rockstars" -- about Dhunu, a girl who grows up in poverty and learns to fend for herself, and follows her dream of forming a rock band and owning a guitar -- but the journey of the film has been one full of love, hopes and aspirations.
On a positive note, she said: "We will keep our faith alive to keep dreaming."
Among those out of the Oscar race is Iram Haq's Norwegian drama "What Will People Say", starring Indian actors Adil Hussain and Ekavali Khanna.
Ekavali tweeted: "'What Will People Say' lost out on being nominated at the Academy Awards, but I am still so grateful that we came so far. Good luck to all the films that have made it to the list."
The shortlisted titles include "Birds of Passage" (Colombia), "The Guilty" (Denmark), "Never Look Away" (Germany), "Shoplifters" (Japan), "Ayka" (Kazakhstan), "Capernaum" (Lebanon), "Roma" (Mexico), "Cold War" (Poland) and "Burning" (South Korea).
So far, "Mother India", "Salaam Bombay!" and "Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India" are the only Indian films that made it to the top five in the Best Foreign language Film category at the Academy Awards, but none has won the honour.
The Academy on Monday also announced shortlists for the Documentary Feature, Make-up And Hairstyling, Music (Original Score), Music (Original Song), Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film and Visual Effects categories.
Nominations for the 91st Oscars will be announced on January 22, 2019, over a month ahead of the Oscars ceremony which is slated to be held on February 24, 2019.