Purab Kohli's Bollywood movie Jal is one of the Oscar 2014 contenders in two categories -- Best Picture and Best Original Score. Girish Mallik's National Award winning film features in the reminder list of productions eligible for the 87th Academy Awards.
The film's screenplay has also been invited to the Oscar Library for their permanent core collection. "Jal is in the race as one of the Oscar contenders in two most prestigious categories - Best Picture and Best Original Score alongside path-breaking films like Interstellar, Exodus, 300 Rise of Empire and other Hollywood biggies," Puneet Singh, director of One World Films Pvt Ltd, the film's production banner, said.
Jal, starring Purab Kohli, Kirti Kulhari and Tannishtha Chatterjee, has the backdrop of water scarcity and tells the story of Bakka, a person gifted with a special ability to find water in the desert. Malik, who stepped behind the camera for the first time with the film, says that it is wonderful to get noticed on such a huge platform. "Jal has been shortlisted as one of the Oscar contenders in the mainstream Best Picture category and not the Best Foreign Language film category, which means it will be competing with the Hollywood biggies to find a space for itself and hopefully get noticed on this stupendous platform. It was a tremendous struggle to make this film and I am happy and thankful that it's being noticed on the biggest platform for cinema," he said.
The music and background score for the film has been composed by Sonu Nigam and Bickram Ghosh.
The other Indian film nominated for the Best Original score is Kochadaiiyaan, which has compositions by AR Rahman. The double Oscar winner is also nominated for two more of his Hollywood projects -- Million Dollar Arm and The Hundred-Foot Journey.
The final nomination list will be announced on January 15, 2015, while the presentation ceremony will be held on February 22, 2015 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.