From Mother India to Devdas: 6 Bollywood movies which were submitted to the Oscars

From Mother India to Newton, here is a list of Indian submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film

The Academy Awards, now known officially as The Oscar is the most prestigious award in the world of cinema. While many Hollywood films have already relished the Oscar love, Bollywood films are still struggling despite making several honest attempts. Though Indian themed films like Gandhi and Slumdog Millionaire won at the prestigious gala, Bollywood films are still waiting to take the gorgeous golden lady back home.

Since 1957, Bollywood has been earnestly submitting movies to the Oscars to be precise. This year, Bollywood has submitted Rajkummar Rao starrer Newton as India’s official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars 2018. The Amit Masurkar movie set against the backdrop of elections was allegedly accused of being a rip-off of an Iranian film titled, Secret Ballot. Fortunately, Secret Ballot‘s producer Marco Muller cleared the air around the plagiarism controversy saying the concept of the both films might be similar, but Newton is not a copy in any way.

Now coming back to Bollywood’s tryst with Oscars, besides Newton, take a look at these 6 other Bollywood movies which have been submitted to the Oscar so far.

Mother India 

Mother India

Mother India movie poster featuring Nargis and Sunil Dutt

Starring Nargis and Sunil Dutt, Mother India is one of the most popular films but did you know that the film was India’s first submission to the Oscars in 1957. Forget about the submission, this Mehboob Khan epic drama also made it to the final shortlist. The film got nominated along with four other films, however, it was Italian film Night of Cabiria which swept away the trophy by leaving Mother India behind with just one vote. A remake of Aurat (1940), Mother India is the story of a poverty-stricken villager named Radha (Nargis) who, in the absence of her husband, struggles to raise her sons and survive against a cunning money-lender.

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Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri and Aishwarya Rai in the poster of Devdas

Sanjay Leela Bhansali’s classic film Devdas featuring Shah Rukh Khan, Madhuri Dixit, and Aishwarya Rai in the main lead was India’s official submission for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2003 Oscars. Unlike Mother India, this love saga failed to get nominated.

Rang De Basanti: 

Rang De Basanti, Aamir Khan

Aamir Khan in the poster of Rang De Basanti

Next we have Aamir Khans’ Rang De Basanti. This multi starrer film was the official submission for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Oscars but not nominated. Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra’s take on a modern-day patriotism, Rang De Basanti was chosen over Bollywood films Sanjay Dutt’s Lage Raho Munna Bhai and Saif Ali Khan’s Omkara. It also features Atul Kulkarni, Soha Ali Khan, Kunal Kapoor, Anupam Kher, R. Madhavan in pivotal roles.

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Taare Zameen Par: 

Taare Zameen Par

Aamir Khan in the poster of Taare Zameen Par

Another Aamir Khan film, Taare Zameen Par also made it to India’s official submission for Oscars but did not win. Featuring Aamir Khan and Darsheel Safary, the film explores the life and imagination of Ishaan (Darsheel), an 8-year-old boy. Among its many awards, Taare Zameen Par won the Filmfare Best Film Award for 2008, as well as the National Film Award for Best Film on Family Welfare.


Ranbir Kapoor, Barfi

Ranbir Kapoor in the poster of his film Barfi!

This Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra and Ileana D’Cruz starrer was selected as India’s official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film but was not accepted as a nominee. Set in the 1970s, the film is a romantic comedy and depicts the story of Murphy Barfi Johnson (a mute and deaf Nepali boy from Darjeeling) and his relationships with two women, Shruti and Jhilmil (who is autistic).

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Aamir Khan, Lagaan

LAGAAN movie poster featuring Aamir Khan

This Aamir Khan starrer was nominated at the Oscars but lost to the Bosnian film No Man’s Land. The film not only got nominated for 2002 Oscars but also became the third film to be nominated for the prestigious Award show. Other two films are Mother India and Salaam Bombay!. Lagaan received critical acclaim and awards at international film festivals, as well as many Indian film awards. It featured Aamir Khan and Gracy Singh in the main lead.

Meanwhile, here take a look at the list of Indian submissions for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film:  



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