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Kantara for Oscars: What's the road ahead for the Rishab Shetty film?

Anup Bhandari's Vikrant Rona, starring Kiccha Sudeep, too, makes the tall list of eligible films and one would hope that this double representation of Kannada Cinema fares well at the upcoming Oscars. 

Kantara for Oscars: What's the road ahead for the Rishab Shetty film?
Kantara Poster
  • Swaroop Kodur

Last Updated: 10.02 AM, Jan 10, 2023

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Rishab Shetty's Kantara continues to encounter unprecedented success as the film now emphatically joins the Oscars 2023 race. Although the road ahead in this process is long and riddled with the toughest competition, one would deem Kantara's entry in the list of 301 eligible films to be a success in itself. The 'Divine Blockbuster', courtesy of the KGF 2 makers Hombale Films, is among the twelve Indian feature films that made into the latest eligibility list (also known as the Reminder List) along with S.S. Rajamouli's RRR, Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Gangubai Kathiawadi, Vivek Agnihotri's The Kashmir Files, R. Madhavan's Rocketry: The Nambi Effect, and others.

The expected contenders on the annual Reminder List also include two Indian documentary films, namely Shaunak Sen's All That Breathes and Kartiki Gonsalves' The Elephant Whisperers.

As far as Kantara is concerned, the film lands two Oscars qualifications in the form of Best Picture and Best Actor (Rishab Shetty). The path to ultimate glory begins on January 12th when the 9,579 eligible voting members start the process by filling out the ballots. The same process will go on for the next five days until the ballots are closed on January 17th.

The robust list of nominations will be announced on January 24th, 2023 following which the final round of voting begins on March 2nd. The voting process will be concluded on March 7th, five days before the actual ceremony.

Kantara will have a rather stiff challenge ahead with a number of high-profile international projects ranked as major frontrunners. On one hand, Rishab Shetty's film will reckon with critically acclaimed Hollywood dramas such as Steven Spielberg's The Fabelmans, Todd Field's Tár, Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert's Everything Everywhere All At Once, Sarah Polley's Women Talking, and Martin McDonagh's The Banshees of Insherin, among others. On the other, one finds the highest-grossing films like Top Gun: Maverick, Avatar: The Way of Water, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and India's own RRR, too, in contention. Each of these films has been touted in the 'most favoured' lists as far as the pre-nomination predictions go and while Kantara boasts several merits to its name - from the rustic setting, the cinematography, the music, and the performances - the Kannada film will face extremely tough competition in its pursuits.

Anup Bhandari's Vikrant Rona, starring Kiccha Sudeep, too, makes the tall list of eligible films and one would hope that this double representation of Kannada Cinema fares well at the upcoming Oscars. Bhandari's film features elaborate set-pieces and a larger-than-life, semi-fictional world and each of these facets holds a good chance of impressing the voters. 

Rishab Shetty, who is also part of the Best Actor race, will have to contend with the likes of Brendan Fraser (The Whale), Colin Farrell (The Banshees of Insherin), Austin Butler (Elvis), and Tom Hanks (A Man Called Otto), among others. Rishab's performance as the arrack-guzzling, hot-headed, Kambala sportsman Shiva won him a lot of acclaim and fame over the last couple of months with many Indian critics hailing it as the year's best on-screen performance. While it seems a tall order that he would go on to win the Academy award for the Best Actor, all the Kannada Cinema patrons would only hope to see him grow further in stature at the global level. All eyes toward the nominations now!

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