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‘Rang De Basanti’ out of Oscars race

New Delhi, January 17
Shortly after the high of securing a nomination at the prestigious BAFTA awards, disappointment came the way of “Rang De Basanti” with the film failing to make it to the list of nine movies shortlisted by the Oscars Academy in the foreign film category.

With the film failing to figure in the list of the shortlisted movies, ahead of the January 23 announcement of final five nominees for the Best Foreign Film Oscar, “Rang De Basanti” is now out of the Oscars race.

The nine shortlisted films, the list of which was released by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts today, are Rachid Bouchareb’s “Days of Glory” (Algeria), Deepa Mehta’s “Water” (nominated by Canada as its entry), Sussane Bier’s “After the Wedding” (Denmark), Daniele Thompson’s “Avenue Montaigne” (France), Florian Henckel’s “The Lives of Others” (Germany), Guillermo del Toro’s “Pan's Labyrinth” (Mexico), Paul Verhoeven’s “Black Book” (The Netherlands), Pedro Almodovar’s “Volver” (Spain) and Fredi M. Murer’s “Vitus” (Switzerland).

While expressing disappointment over the failure of “Rang De Basanti” to make it to the shortlist, its producers feel that competing with some great international ventures that were in the running for the Best Foreign Film category award was itself a great honour for the film.

“It was an honour for ‘Rang De Basanti’ to compete with some great international films that are in the running for the Oscars this year,” UTV said in an official statement after “Rang De...” made it to the shortlist.

“Rang De Basanti has touched and still continues to touch the hearts and minds of viewers across the world. The biggest reward has been the impact the movie has had on the youth of India and elsewhere,” UTV CEO Ronnie Screwvala said.

Mr Screwvala said their focus would now be on BAFTA awards for which “Rang De Basanti” was last week nominated in the Best Foreign Film category.

“We look forward to the BAFTA awards where ‘Rang De Basanti’ is the only Asian film to be nominated and is the company of the films like Mel Gibson’s ‘Apocalypto,’ Paul Verhoeven’s ‘Black Book,’ Guillermo Del Toro’s ‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ and Pedro Almodovar’s ‘Volver’.”

“Rang De Basanti” was nominated in the “Film Not In The English Language” category at the BAFTA, according to the nominations’ list announced on Friday evening.

The awards will be held on February 11 at the Royal Opera House in London, two weeks before the Oscars awards.

UTV sources said the director of “Rang De Basanti” Rakeysh Mehra and its producer Ronnie Screwvala would be present at the awards ceremony in London.

Trade observers say a nomination at the BAFTA is no less significant an achievement for “Rang De Basanti” than the Oscars themselves.

The acronym for British Academy of Film and Television Arts, BAFTA, popularly called the British Oscars, is considered the highest honour in film and television.

The observers feel that “Rang De Basanti,” with its message of “standing up to a cause” akin to our freedom fighters like Bhagat Singh and Rajguru, has a strong chance to bag an award at the BAFTA. — UNI

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