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Dev Patel grabs an Oscar nod, becomes 3rd artist of Indian descent to be nominated for an Academy Award 

The British-Indian actor received a nomination for Actor in a Supporting Role for the 2017 Academy Awards for his performance in the film, Lion. 

Shriram Iyengar

British-Indian actor, Dev Patel, received his maiden Oscar nomination in the category of Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in the film, Lion. Patel plays the role of a man in search of his original parents in this real-life inspired story directed by Garth Davis. The actor becomes the third actor of Indian descent to be nominated for the category, following the trail of Ben Kingsley and Merle Oberon. Kingsley was nominated in the category for House of Sand and Fog (2004), while Oberon was the earliest actor of Indian descent to be nominated way back in 1935 for The Dark Angel. 

This would be Patel's second trip to the Academy Awards after making his first appearance in Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire (2009). In a statement released to the media, the actor said, "Ok, so I just received a call to say that I've been nominated for an Academy Award...To be totally honest, the news hasn't made its way into my brain yet, but I'm looking at these beautiful smiling faces around me... Faces of the ones I love. And I feel an overwhelming sense of gratitude." 

The 26-year-old actor added, "What makes this moment so much more poignant is that I've just wrapped shooting another film in India. This enthralling country holds such a deep place in my heart, and it is where Saroo's journey was born."

Patel has received much critical acclaim for his performance as Saroo Brierley, with critics hailing it as a watershed moment in his career. The actor also won the nomination at the Golden Globe in the Best Supporting Actor category. Patel also thanked director Davis in his statement saying, "This film would be nothing without Garth Davis. Without his love, commitment and vision this 'Lion' wouldn't have been able to roar. To that extent I want to share this incredible feeling with Luke, Grieg, Jenny Kent, Iain, Angie, Emile, Sunny, Nicole, David, Rooney, Divian, Priyanka, the Brierley family as well as the Weinstein Co team." 

Patel is not the only nomination for Lion, actress Nicole Kidman is also in the running for the Best Supporting Actress. The film by Davis has also been nominated for Best Picture award, alongside frontrunner La La Land. 

Patel himself faces some stiff competition with other nominees including Academy Award winner Jeff Bridges (Hell or High Water), Mahershala Ali (Moonlight), Michael Shannon (Nocturnal Animals), and Lucas Hedges (Manchester By The Sea). 

Sadly though, Patel's Slumdog Millionaire music director, AR Rahman missed out on a nomination in the Best Original Score category since his film, Pele: Birth of a Legend did not make the cut.

The 89th Academy Awards will be held at the Kodak Theatre on 26 February.