D Meera Chithirappaavai



Oscar awards and all the fuss!, Oscar awards


I have evolved a lot as a movie buff. From just a regular movie goer, my job and my interest have made me a movie tracker. I also have the responsibility of analyzing films critically and keeping a tab on all the happenings in and around this glamorous industry of cinema. In the course of this process, the entire timeline of events that happened around India’s official entry to the Academy Awards/ Oscar caught my attention. 
The following article might help audience who only knows the glamour quotient behind the word ‘Oscar’ but is keen on deciphering its core motive and ideas.  
Birth of the Academy
In 1927, Louis B. Mayer, the then chief of  Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, popularly known as the MGM Studios in a casual dinner at his residence talked about creating an organized group to benefit THEIR film industry. Thus, International Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences came into existence. 
The motive of the Academy
Though the nomenclature of the academy holds the word ‘International’, its primary motive is to appreciate the technicians of Hollywood in all the arenas of film making. The Academy consciously incorporated the category of “Foreign Language Film Award” to extend their appreciation to filmmakers around the globe
What one understands is that, International Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences/The Academy is not actually an International organization that evaluates the art of filmmaking on a neutral platform. They see the other countries film as ‘foreign’. Now I am confused as to why hype these awards to this extent in our country? To understand this better, it is the difference between a peacemaking organization of a particular country and the UNO. 
Since 1957, out of 47 films that the Film Federation of India (FFI) has submitted to the academy for the “Foreign Language Film Award” category, only 3 films made it to the nomination level, Mother India (1957), Salaam Bombay (1988) and Lagaan (2001) namely. Court (2015) will be the 48th film and its fate in the academy is yet to be declared. In South India, Ulaganayagan Kamal Haasan is known for his unflinching efforts towards reaching his work to The Academy. But by now, even he might have given up.
You can read numerous articles analyzing the reasons why an Indian film hardly wins, leave alone winning, why an Indian film hardly gets nominated in Oscars. Popular reasons are, FFI’s selection process, plagiarism of concepts, star value, high budget, length of the feature, cultural background and the list seems to be never ending. But I strongly feel that all these notions are an unwanted fuss for something that does not or cannot define the potential of a rich film industry like ours. 
Not to forget the parallel track where a foreign film has the privilege of a “Lateral Entry” - Official term coined for a backdoor entry. This purely depends on the producers bank balance. Films like Dam 999 (2011), Touring Talkies (2013), Kamasutra 3D (2014) have knocked the academy’s backdoor and Care of Footpath 2 joins the list for 2015. 
The glamour, grandeur and lobbying involved in the Oscar award is undeniable and has become obvious. But considering the power and impact of a film Industry in its country, is sure to give birth to an International Organisation that will look at all the films from a common, unbiased perspective. And then we shall all rave and compete with true spirit for its annual awards. Until then, hold-chill! 

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