As the clock is ticking for the 95th Academy Awards, actress Santhy Balachandran, who was recently seen in the latest released film Gulmohar recalls the time when her Malayalam film Jallikattu was selected as an Indian entry at the Academy Awards.
Asked about how she looks at the Academy awards selection and also nomination and Santhy told OTTplay, " I think this is a way we can get a chance to expand our audience, especially the global audience with our cinema. We are living at a time when more number of people are developing the habit of watching films with subtitles and that is a plus point to breaking the language barrier. It is through cinema that we also get to know about different cultures, and social norms, yet feel emotionally connected with people across the globe. So when a film reaches to such a platform, it surely gives us the chance to show our work to the world."
The film Jallikattu was selected as the Indian entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards. The film was released in 2019 and received many accolades including National Film Awards, Asian Film Awards, and Golden Reel Awards among others.
Recalling one of such moments, Santhy said, "I remember when we got to know that our film has been selected, it was a collective happiness and joy. The film was not easy to shoot so the credit is not just on us, the actors but every technician behind the camera who created the world of the film, it was so wonderful. I remember when our first screening took place at Toronto International Film Festival; even though the story of the film was so local, the audience who were there at the screening, was even reacting to the jokes, they were laughing. Imagine, how even without knowing the language and our culture that well, they were feeling connected to the humor and every other emotion of a local story set in India. That's what cinema does, it connects people."
This year India, with a huge global audience response, managed to get the Oscar nomination in the Best original music category for the song Naatu Naatu from RRR. That apart India also had two features - Best Documentary Short Film Kartiki Gonsalves’ The Elephant Whisperers and Best Documentary Feature Shaunak Sen’s All That Breathes. Apart from one of the main attractions and interest points for India is Bollywood superstar Deepika Padukone is one of the Oscar presenters.
The Academy Awards will be telecast in India on March 13, and one can live stream the event from Disney Plus Hotstar.