Why doesn't Indian films get nominated for the Oscars Awards? - watsupptoday.com
Why doesn't Indian films get nominated for the Oscars Awards?
Posted 22 Feb 2020 06:02 PM


This is a valid question.

Let us add this question to the many other questions that are asked by others which include?

Why when India has a population of 1.35 Billion persons does it win less medals in Truly Global Events like OLYMPICS than countries like Ecuador, Venezuela, Japan or even Ukraine or Czech Republic????

Now the question has to be rephrased. Oscars are for English language films - so lets change the question to - Why do Indian Language films rarely get nominated for the ‘Best Foreign Language Film’ award???

Now there are different theories and versions that many people have:


This is not correct. Every film Industry except French perhaps are almost always oriented to the MASALA FORMAT. It makes money. 80% of US Films are Masala Films (Olympus has fallen, White House Down,) or Sci - Fi Films. Like India - US too has a huge market for Masala Films (They call them Action or Sci Fi) who dont go within 1 mile of an Oscar Award Ceremony. Both US and India also make good films that are awards worthy.

The Main Reasons why Indian Movies dont go close to Academy Award Nomination for Best FOreign Language FIlm is:-

(a) Music - Somehow the Oscars dont like Musicals very much. In fact while the Golden Globes (The Second most famous Award in US for English Movies) has a separate category for Musicals - The Academy Awards do not. Many Good movies like the Fiddler on the Roof, Viva Zapata, La La Land were sure shots to win the Best Picture but lost because they were musicals. Good movies like Chicago, Sound of Music have won the Best Picture but they are relatively rare.

Indian movies cannot do without Music and songs and for Hollywood unless the film is a Musical, does not believe songs do anything positive for a movie. In Fact when Lagaan was nominated for an Oscar - and did not win - a Judge actually said - “Too Many Songs”. Same with Indian (1996) of Kamal Hassan.

Hollywood believes that a normal film should be between 100 - 115 Minutes Long at the most - Unless you have a Ben Hur or a Titanic or something of that quality at that Budget. Sadly most Indian Films nominated end up thanks to the songs to be more than 150 minutes long.

(b) BUREAUCRACY AND CORRUPTION - Many Gems from India have simply not been able to get entered in the Foreign Language Category List. The Oscars invite every nation to submit an Official Entry to their list. Here in India - Bureaucracy kicks in. The decision makers who decide which picture to send are usually utter failures as Directors or Producers and call themselves ‘Movie Critics’. One call from a Famous Producer would make their decision easier. They give a huge berth to Bollywood films while entirely ignoring regional languages unless some Bollywood Big Shot recommends the movie. Since Bollywood industry is in Maharashtra - Marathi movies have a better chance to get an official entry by going to people like Bachchan or Late Yash Chopra or Karan Johar who put in one phone call.

In 2005 - Red Chillies Productions twisted arms to ensure that their movie PAHELI was their official entry over a Bengali film and a Malayali Film that were 50 - 100 times better were ignored entirely. JEANS (1997) was nominated as Indias official entry which resulted in one committee member asking “Are they off their heads or do they think this is a Joke???”.

Tamil Actor R Parthiepan ran from pillar to post to submit his movie OTHA SERUPPU SIZE 7 FOR AN OSCARS ENTRY but ended up without any recourse.

(c) MONEY - An Official Entry is not enough. A movie nominated to a category must be exhibited across a number of film festivals. For Foreign Language Nominations - the Oscars require a minimum of 15 Shows across Film Festivals and each such show costs MONEY. If there is a rare movie that somehow gets nominated through its quality rather than its connections - it usually runs the required minimum of 15 shows and no more. For instance - an average show costs $ 2000 and 15 shows means $ 30000 at least. Typically many films run for 50,60 even 100 shows which help its chances but INdian films which have the money for so many shows have zero quality and Films that have the quality end up not having the money.

A Marathi movie - Shawas was somehow nominated to the Oscars in 2004 which was a miracle as the movie was excellent and oscar worthy. Yet the movie could not get the money for more than 15 shows. Amitabh Bachchan paid Rs. 2 Lakh for the movie (Which could get the movie 2 shows at the most) while no other Actor or Director who earned crores decided to contribute. The Movie ran 15 shows and narrowly made out of the final 5 (Score 755.4 , Next Best was 771 - Had the movie got 50 shows - it would have got a slot in the nominations and could have easily won)

(d) PLAGIARISM - A Shocking Statistic is that out of 57 films officially sent to the oscars, 21 have been rejected due to Plagiarism allegations (Story is copied or familiar to some already existing story which brings down the score). This accusation is nothing new. Our Great Directors are gone. Todays shadows are master copycats and rarely create anything original. As a result many of our entries are flecked with Plagiarism and many films get low scores due to this factor.

Barfi, Ellavya, Heena were some pictures which did not make the nominations because of possible plagiarism allegations.

(e) POLITICS - Like in every other field in India - Politics plays a huge role in this category. Somehow India - Pakistan or India - Britain movies are always sent to the Oscars even though they are horrible over other high quality movies. In 1999 - A Mohanlal movie (Where he played a dancer) called Vanaprastham was the best suited to be nominated but politics played a part and they nominated a decent movie called 1947: Earth which ended up not getting qualified.

Bengali movies despite their high quality never got a shot because of the Communist Government. Even Malayali movies like Adaminte Magan Abu got the shot due to Congress in both Kerala and the Centre.

Jeetu Josephs Drishyam was not submitted because the Govt officials belieevd that the film sent a message that someone who outsmarted the system and law and order eventually wins which would be wrong.

Now the above answer is almost true for why India never achieves anything globally. Bureaucracy, Corruption and Politics. It rears its ugly head everywhere. Talented youngsters are thrown aside for mediocre talents of youngsters of the right politics (Minority, Low Caste, Ruling party relations), right influence (Money, Power)

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