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Indian documentary nominated for Academy Awards 2022

Indian documentary Writing With Fire has made it to the top five nominations in the best documentary feature category announced for the Academy Awards. (Photo: Twitter @TheAcademy)Premium
Indian documentary Writing With Fire has made it to the top five nominations in the best documentary feature category announced for the Academy Awards. (Photo: Twitter @TheAcademy)

  • Only three Indian films have ever made it to the final list of Oscar nominations - Mother India (1957), Salaam Bombay! (1988) and Lagaan (2001). Last year, Jallikattu, a Malayalam film about a hunt for a bull on the run, was India’s official entry to the Oscars

NEW DELHI: Indian documentary Writing With Fire has made it to the top five nominations in the best documentary feature category announced for the Academy Awards on Tuesday, becoming the first Indian feature documentary to do so. Directed by filmmakers Sushmit Ghosh and Rintu Thomas, the film narrates the story of journalists behind the running of the Dalit women-led newspaper Khabar Lahariya, and the shift they make from print to digital journalism aided by smartphones.

Ghosh and Thomas, a married couple, started filming in 2016, the year that Khabar Lahariya reporters moved to digital tools.

Produced under Ghosh and Thomas's movie production banner Black Ticket Films, the documentary feature had its world premiere at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, where it won two awards, the Audience Award and a Special Jury Award: Impact for Change in the World Cinema Documentary category.

A New York Times article pointed out that if Writing With Fire wins the Oscar at the ceremony scheduled for end of March, it will make history as the first film about India directed by Indians to receive an Oscar. “It will also give a boost to democracy’s unsung champions at a time when democratic norms are under threat around the world," it said.

Tamil drama Jai Bhim starring Suriya that had streamed on Amazon Prime Video and Mohanlal’s Malayalam film Marakkar: Arabikadalinte Simham (Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea), were also on the list of 276 movies eligible for this year's Academy Awards. The two, however, did not make it to the final nomination list.

Only three Indian films have ever made it to the final list of Oscar nominations - Mother India (1957), Salaam Bombay! (1988) and Lagaan (2001). Last year, Jallikattu, a Malayalam film about a hunt for a bull on the run, was India’s official entry to the Oscars.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lata Jha

Lata Jha covers media and entertainment for Mint. She focuses on the film, television, video and audio streaming businesses. She is a graduate of the Columbia School of Journalism. She can be found at the movies, when not writing about them.
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