Bollywood’s Oscar Craze: Do Bollywood Need Oscars?

Every year when Oscars are around the corner, there’s some untold tension in Bolly-Ville. Speculations about India’s entry into Oscars starts floating around and every film maker with a hit movie and great critical acclaim goes around trumpeting about his or her movie’s Oscar potential.

Do we really need Oscars? Why Bollywood is obsessed with the greatest American Award for films? Film makers like Mahesh Bhatt have something interesting to say about Bollywood’s Oscar fetish. In an exclusive interview given to a leading foreign daily, Mr. Bhatt roared that Bollywood should not bother about Oscars. On being asked about the Oscar craze, Mahesh Bhatt raised several points which were rather baffling.

Nobody cares about Indian Film Awards in India

Actors like Aamir Khan, Kangana Ranaut have boycotted the regular award functions. Do you know how it started? It was in year 1993, during Film Fare Award night that onlookers were left shocked by Dimple Kapadia who walked onto stage to announce an award but ended up uttering the winner’s name even without opening the sealed envelope that she held in her hand.

Except National Awards all other awards in the country have lost their dignity and respect and nobody takes such awards seriously. In fact, over the years can you even count how many awards have mushroomed? Star Dust, IIFA, Screen Awards, Zee Awards and the list goes on…..

Nobody knows how a film is picked for Oscars

So, coming back to Oscars, many film makers feel the necessity to validate their movies by contesting for Oscars. However, there’s one more issue that rattles Indian film makers and that is no one has a clue about how Indian movies are judged Oscar worthy! There’s a panel chosen by Film Federation of India which selects “Oscar worthy” movies. For Instance 1998’s hit movie Jeans was sent for Best Foreign Film category! If you have watched ‘Jeans’ you know what we are talking about!

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When Aamir’s ‘Lagaan’ was sent to Oscar nomination in 2002, whole of Indian film fraternity got curious and the craze for Oscar took a much more bigger form. Soon after that many movies followed but none managed to grab an award.

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Films with Indian themes such as ‘Slumdog Millionaire'( Danny Boyle), Life of Pi (Ang Lee) were foreign films. And out of those that were nominated for Oscars India’s very own ‘Mother India'(Mehaboob Khan/1958) is the only Indian movie to grab the spot. However, Indians have been felicitated for their excellent work at Oscars (Satyajit Ray, A.R. Rahaman and Resul Kutty among few).

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Mr. Bhatt and those who share his ideology feel that there’s no need of an Oscar to Bollywood but Oscar needs Bollywood! Bhatt saab points out that many Hollywood studios are anxious to grab the Indian market which by the way is the only market in the world that is not being dominated by Hollywood flicks and has its own niche with regional films.

If you think about it, do we really need to take Oscars seriously? What does it matter if Bollywood has not won an Oscar till now? By the way this year’s Indian entry to Oscars is Aishwarya Rai and Randeep Hooda’s Sarabhjit. Share your thoughts with us and let us know what you think?

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