Producer Ritesh Sidhwani is hopeful that his co-production Gully Boy could be closing in on India’s first ever Oscar win for Best International Feature Film at the 92nd Academy Awards on February 10, 2020. Gully Boy, starring Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt, was selected as the India’s entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 2020 Oscars.
The film tells the story of a rapper from a Mumbai chawl, Murad (Ranveer), who dreams of making it big in the world of music. Directed by Zoya Akhtar, Gully Boy received critical as well as commercial success upon its release.
On the red carpet of Star Screen Awards on Sunday, Sidhwani was asked about the Oscar campaign for his musical drama.
“We’re trying very hard. We’re trying to bring the film to the forefront. We’re doing everything within our power to make sure we leave no stone unturned in bringing the film there. The first shortlist will come out on 15th December, so we’re waiting for that. And, after that only 10 out of 93 films will advance in the best international film category. So hopefully, we’ll make it to the shortlist then maybe we’ll get the award this time. Maybe it’ll be the first time for India,” said Sidhwani.
Zoya, who walked the red carpet with Dub Sharma, the composer of hit rap Apna Time Aayega from Gully Boy, simply said, “We’re prepping for it let’s see how it goes. There are 93 films from worldwide so let’s see.”
A record-breaking total of 93 countries submitted entries to be considered for Best International Film nominations at the Academy Awards. But this has been amended to 92, following the disqualification of the Nigerian entry on grounds of containing too many English dialogue.
A total of 87 films were submitted last year, with nominations for Lebanon’s Capernaum, Poland’s Cold War, Germany’s Never Look Away and Japan’s Shoplifters, with the award going to Alfonso Cuaron’s Mexican family drama Roma.
This year’s high-profile entries include South Korea’s Parasite, Bong Joon Ho’s black comedy which won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, Spain’s Pain and Glory from Pedro Almodovar with Antonio Banderas starring as a film director and Japan’s Weathering With You.