New Delhi :
India’s official entry to the upcoming Oscars Chhello Show, acclaimed documentary feature All That Breathes, documentary short The Elephant Whisperers, and Naatu Naatu — the song from period action blockbuster RRR have made it to the 95th Academy Awards shortlist, the organisers said Thursday morning.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the body behind the awards, announced the shortlists in 10 categories: documentary feature film, documentary short film, international feature film, makeup, and hairstyling, music (original score), music (original song), animated short film, live action short film, sound, and visual effects.
While Chhello Show is part of the international feature film shortlist, Naatu Naatu from RRR appears on the music (original song) shortlist. All That Breathes and The Elephant Whisperers are included in the shortlists of documentary feature and documentary short segments, respectively.
There are 15 contenders in the shortlists of the above four categories. Directed by Pan Nalin and produced by Siddharth Roy Kapur and Dheer Momaya, Chhello Show (titled Last Film Show in English) is a Gujarati-language coming-of-age story of a young boy’s love affair with cinema in a Saurashtra village.
The team of Chhello Show said they are humbled and overjoyed that their heartfelt ode to the cinematic medium has been recognised by the Academy. “Ever since our selection by the Film Federation of India as India’s Official Entry to the 95th Oscars, we knew in our hearts that the film was bound for something special.
“We would like to thank the FFI, the millions of people who watched and admired Chhello Show, as well as our international distributors who gave the film a well-deserved push. This is a historic moment for India and we hope to bring the Oscar home very soon,” Kapur, Momaya, and Nalin said in a joint statement.
According to the Academy’s official website, Chhello Show will compete with films, including Argentina, 1985 (Argentina), Decision to Leave (South Korea), All Quiet on the Western Front (Germany), Close (Belgium), and The Blue Caftan (Morocco).
This is the third major international nomination for Naatu Naatu, the popular Telugu song from SS Rajamouli’s magnum opus RRR. The pan-India film follows a pre-independence fictional story woven around two real-life Indian revolutionaries – Alluri Sitarama Raju (Ram Charan) and Komaram Bheem (Jr NTR) – in the 1920s.
As part of the music (original song), Oscars shortlist, Naatu Naatu will face off with 14 other tracks, which include Nothing Is Lost (You Give Me Strength) from Avatar: The Way of Water, Lift Me Up from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Ciao Papa from Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio, Hold My Hand from Top Gun: Maverick, and Carolina from Where the Crawdads Sing.
Naatu Naatu, composed by MM Keeravaani and penned by Kala Bhairava and Rahul Sipligunj, was previously nominated for a Golden Globe and Critics Choice Award.
Shaunak Sen’s celebrated film All That Breathes, an internationally co-produced Hindi title, is vying for a spot in the top five of the best documentary feature category. “We made the shortlist, congos to all the other films!” wrote Sen on his Instagram Stories.
Delhi-set All That Breathes follows two siblings, Mohammad Saud and Nadeem Shehzad, who have devoted their lives to rescuing and treating injured birds, especially the Black Kites.