Oscars 2019: India’s official entry ‘Village Rockstars’ out of race while ‘Period. End of Sentence’ gets shortlisted

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New Delhi | Updated: December 18, 2018 5:16:25 PM

‘Period. End of Sentence’ which is based on the subject of menstruation in rural India has been shortlisted by the Oscars in their Documentary section.

Shortlisted best foreign-language films and films in eight other categories were announced on Monday by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. India’s official entry to the Oscars, Village Rockstars, for this year is out of the race, so is Iram Haq’s What Will People Say, a Norwegian drama, starring Indian actors – Adil Hussain and Ekavali Khanna.

Both films have not made it to the nine shortlisted films for the honour.

However, ‘Period. End of Sentence’ which is based on the subject of menstruation in rural India has been shortlisted by the Oscars in their documentary section.

Directed by award-winning filmmaker Rayka Zehtabchi the short film is about Indian women fighting against the taboo of menstruation and is based on the real life of “Pad Man” Arunachalam Muruganathan.

The ‘Period. End of Sentence’ has been produced by Guneet Monga’s Sikhya Entertainment.

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Other documentaries that made it to the list are – Lifeboat, Black Sheep, End Game, Los Comandos, My Dead Dad’s Porno Tapes, A Night at the Garden, 63 Boycott, Women of the Gulag and Zion.

Directed by Rima Das, ‘Village Rockstars’ is an Assamese language film about a 10-year-old girl living in poverty in a small village in Assam and has big dreams of having a guitar and forming a musical band with the local boys. The film has won Best Feature Film, Best Child Artist, Best Location Sound Recordist and Best Editing at the National Film Awards 2018, the highest award for a film in India.

So far, no Indian film has won the top honour; only Mother India, Salaam Bombay! and Lagaan are films that made it to the final top five in the Best Foreign language Film category at the Oscars.

There were 87 films that were submitted for the category. After Village Rockstars was selected as India’s official entry to the Oscars, SV Rajendra Singh Babu of Film Federation of India had said the reason many Indian films that made it to Oscars do not well as they are not properly presented or promoted for which one needs huge money.

“When a film goes there, we need at least two crore rupees to promote the film there, to present it to the Academy members. There are many processes, and we may be failing there. There is an acute lack of funds to carry out these processes effectively,” Babu was quoted as saying.

The final nominations for the 91st Academy Awards will be declared next year – January 22, 2019. The Oscars is set to be held on February 24, 2019, reports say.

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