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Amit Masurkar's Newton is India's official entry to the Oscars


After its success at the Berlin International Film Festival, the film has been picked as the country's official entry to the Academy Awards to be held in March 2018.

Shriram Iyengar

Amti Masurkar's dark political comedy, Newton, has received another wonderful pat on its back. The film has been selected by the Film Federation of India as the country's official selection to the 2018 Academy Awards. The decision was announced by Suparn Sen, the organisation's general secretary.

Newton review: Rajkummar, Pankaj Tripathi excel in superficial triumph of electoral democracy

The news comes in light of the critical acclaim for the film, which stars Rajkummar Rao, Pankaj Tripathi, Anjali Patil and Sanjay Mishra among others. Written and directed by Masurkar, the film tells the story of an electoral officer trying to conduct an election in a region infested with Naxals. Produced by Drishyam Films, Newton was released in theatres today, 22 September.

News website Scroll.in quoted Telugu producer CV Reddy, a member of the selection committee at the Film Federation of India, saying, "Newton was chosen unanimously by the committee out of 26 entries."

Tweeting about the news, actor Rajkummar wrote, 'Very happy to share this news that #NEWTON is India's official entry to the #OSCARS this year. Congratulations team.'

Director Hansal Mehta praised the film writing, '#Newton is India's entry to the Oscars. The best choice in years by the federation.'

The film, however, faces stiff competition from firm favourites The Square directed by Ruben Ostlund, Fatih Akin's In The Fade, and Angelina Jolie's First They Killed My Father. Pakistani director Farhan Alam's Sawan is another film from the subcontinent that is set to compete for the nomination for Best Film in a Foreign Language.

Rajkummar Rao: Actor is supposed to play characters, not show six-packs every time

Newton follows the Tamil film Visaaranai (2016) which was India's official selection for the 2016 awards. India has not had a great record at the Oscars, with only three films — Mother India (1957), Mira Nair's Salaam Bombay (1988) and Ashutosh Gowariker's Lagaan (2001) — making the final cut in the competition.

However, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has recently expanded its membership to include several members from the Asian film industries. These include Shah Rukh Khan, Priyanka Chopra, Aishwarya Rai, Aamir Khan, Anand Patwardhan, and Mrinal Sen among several others. This does imply a positive chance for Masurkar's film.

The 90th Academy Awards will be held on 4 March 2018 in Los Angeles.

Masurkar spoke to Cinestaan.com on the sidelines of the Berlin Film Festival in February this year. Watch video:

 

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Oscars