exclusive by Devansh Patel
"Hello everybody, Good morning, my name is Sid Ganis, the president of the Academy Awards, and before we announce our nominees of films highest honours, I am very pleased to welcome a producer, director and Oscar winning actor Forrest Whitaker". These were the exact words coming out at 5.30am by the president of the Oscars at the Academy's Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills. And accompanying him was the talented Forrest Whitaker in a black suit with light blue shirt looking dapper as always. Together in front of the hundreds of media representatives from around the world gathered at the theatre, both announced the nominations for the 81st Academy Awards. The biggest movie event of the year hosted by the smart, sexy and handsome Hugh Jackman is exactly a month away and come February 22, Sunday, along with all the tuxedos, long flowing gowns and black suits, we will witness our very traditional outfits from India too. You don't have to ask us why. But we'll tell you anyway. Ladies and gentlemen..please put your hands together for Slumdog Millionaire for getting nominated under ten nominations at yesterdays official Academy nominations 2009. What's more interesting and exciting is the fact that our very own team of Bollywood will grace the red carpet at the awards. Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan and Freida Pinto. But the man who will lead our national flag is going to be A.R.Rahman. The musical genius has won himself three nominations from the ten listed. Rahman has been nominated for the original score for Slumdog Millionaire with one nomination and for original song with two nominations (Jai Ho and O Saya). The following are the alphabetical categories under which Slumdog Millionaire is nominated at the 2009 Academy Awards:
Achievement in Cinematography
Achievement in Directing
Achievement in Film Editing
Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Score)
Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song - Jai Ho)
Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures (Original Song - O Saya)
Achievement in Best Motion Picture of the Year
Achievement in Sound Editing
Achievement in Sound Mixing
Achievement in Adapted Screenplay
What's more, Slumdog Millionaire becomes the second film after the Bradd Pitt starrer, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, with ten or more than ten nominations at the 2009 Oscars. Wow! Now that's what I call an achievement. The director of Slumdog Millionaire is a British, the lead actor Dev Patel is a British but the story is Indian, the backdrop is Mumbai, the music is Indian, the other lead actors and supporting cast are Indians. That itself makes Slumdog an India film, isn't it? Not really but that's what we Indians would want to believe. Even though India has been the leading player in international cinema making almost the maximum number of movies annually, her track record in the Oscar Awards ball game has been disappointing. But at the same time, it is a matter of pride and pleasure that an Indian filmmaker - the only one till today - was chosen to be awarded an Honorary Oscar for Life Achievement. That was Satyajit Ray, the only Indian film maker who is internationally known and respected for his movies of Indian life and Mother Earth like Pather Panchali (1955). This Award was presented to him in 1991 at Kolkata because he was too ill and bed-ridden and could not go to Los Angeles. The other Indian to win an Oscar is Bhanu Athaiya, well-known costume designer of Bombay. She was a part of the team of designers who won the Oscar for 'Best Costume' award. She was jointly named for 'Best Costume' designing for the box-office bonanza and critically acclaimed and multiple Oscar winner, Richard Attenborough's Gandhi (1982). Another Indian who received an Oscar nomination and created a stir is Shekhar Kapoor for his Elizabeth (1998). But he did not get the Oscar. Aamir Khan and Ashutosh Gowariker walked the red carpet too for Lagaan for 'Best Film - Foreign Language' but in vain. But all that is history and as we know, history can be re-written.
On 22nd February 2009 the day will dawn when A.R.Rahman, Anil Kapoor, Irrfan Khan and Freida Pinto will march all the way to Los Angeles for justifiably competing for the Oscar Awards and returning home with the much coveted golden statuette. Bollywood Hungama wishes the entire team of Slumdog Millionaire Jai Ho at the Oscars 2009!