Oscars 2018: In a first, Newton will compete with 91 entries in Foreign Language Film category
Rajkummar Rao's Newton may have made it through the list of films India was considering, but it will face stiff competition at the Oscars; it will go up against 91 other films from across the world to compete for the Best Foreign Language Film award.
This edition of the Academy Awards marks the first time that 92 films have been submitted for this category, some of which are quite high-profile, such as Joachim Trier's Thelma from Norway, and Angelina Jolie's First They Killed My Father. This year also marks the first time that Haiti, Honduras, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Mozambique, Senegal and Syria have submitted films for this category.
The first film to ever win this title was Vittorio De Sica's Sciuscià (Shoe-Shine). Two years later, he would go on to win the award again for the film school-favourite The Bicycle Thieves, in 1964 for Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow, and in 1971 for The Garden of the Finzi Continis. In 1951, Akira Kurosawa's Rashomon won the title, and thus, over the first five years, a strong foundation of deserving winners was set up in this category.
In 1957, Nargis-starrer Mother India was one of the nominations in the category, which is an accomplishment as this was the first time that India had submitted a film. Over the years, several critically acclaimed films such as Cinema Paradiso, 8½, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Life is Beautiful, and A Separation have made it to the list of winners. Notably, there have been several instances where many films which were considered deserving and which are regarding as being masterpieces — such as Waltz with Bashir, Amélie, The Brothers Karamazov and Amores Perros — have not won.
Italy has won the most number of times in this category, but France has been nominated the most number of times, despite having submitted less films than the former. While the number of nominees has remained a constant five since 1956, the number of submissions from countries all over the world have increased over the years. While only 8 were sent in 1956, 89 were submitted in 2016.
Apart from Mother India, India's submissions Salaam Bombay! and Lagaan made it to the nominations in this category. Only time will tell if Newton, too, will be a contender for the award.
With inputs from IANS