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Paheli out of Oscar race

Mahesh Dattani's Morning Raga also did not figure in the list of nominees.And the nominees are...

india Updated: Feb 01, 2006 20:45 IST

India failed to get any place in the nominations for the 78th Academy Awards which were announced on Tuesday. Both the movies -

Paheli,

the official entry in the Foreign Language category, and

Morning Raga,

which had been entered independently - did not figure in the list of nominees.

Films from Italy, Palestine, South Africa and Germany made it to the best foreign language film category nominations while critics favourite Brokeback Mountain also got nominations in major categories such as Best Film, Best Director for Ang Lee, and Best Actor for Heath Ledger.

Besides Paheli, UTV produced Morning Raga which was entered independently by director Mahesh Dattani, also failed to make the cut.

Produced by Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan, Paheli is based on renowned Rajasthani author Vijaydan Detha's story of a woman who falls in love with a ghost and the tricky moral issues that the villagers face when her husband returns after many years.

Directed by Amol Palekar, the movie stars Shahrukh himself and Rani Mukherjee.

No Indian film has managed to get an Oscar so far.

On Monday Shahrukh Khan had said, "When I took the film to the US, people said it was a nice film but would not win an Oscar as it was a very entertaining film-- a perception that is far removed from the people's perception of the film here, who believed that it was not an entertaining film."

Paheli seemed to have lost the Oscar race even before it actually began. The film wasn’t promoted well on the international circuit. Director Amol Plaekar crusaded alone for the film’s publicity at various film fests. An example of this was The Palm Springs International Film Festival where Palekar was left alone for the film’s publicity. Superstar Shah Rukh Khan kept aloof from the publicity programmes.

He came to Paheli’s rescue perhaps just once in London when he said, “for a change, a film chosen for the Oscars does not show the darkness and morbidity of the country. It shows a lot of exuberance, colour and happiness."

Critics had pointed to this flaw very early in Paheli’s case. “Consider the way in which Paheli, India’s official nomination for the Academy Awards, has been left to fend for itself in the Oscar race. If you don’t love your own film enough, how can you expect the world to take a liking to it”, wrote film critic Saibal Chatterjee.

The 78th Academy Awards ceremony would be held on March 5.

First Published: Feb 01, 2006 16:35 IST