Rishab Shetty and Anup Bhandari’s film had met eligibility criteria to make it to the reminder list of 301 movies
When the Academy of Motion Pictures put up the reminder list of all the films that were eligible for voting by its members for nominations to the categories in which shortlists weren’t drawn yet, there were 11 from India among the 301 titles. Two among them were from Kannada cinema, namely Kantara and Vikrant Rona, with actor-director Rishab Shetty going one step ahead and saying his film had two Oscar qualifications – for Best Picture and Best Actor. It was later revealed that Rishab had jumped the gun and that being on the reminder list only meant that the film had met all qualification criteria to be eligible for consideration by the Academy. Qualifying in specific categories would require the members of the Academy to vote for the film and first shortlist it and then nominate as well.
In the last couple of weeks, #KantaraforOscars has been doing the rounds on social media, with netizens firmly believing that Rishab Shetty’s film stood a chance to bring Oscar glory to Kannada cinema. Incidentally, India’s official entry Chhello Show did not make it to the nominations in the International Film category, while RRR’s Naatu Naatu made it to the Best Song and Elephant Whisperers and All That Breathes to the Documentary short and feature segments, respectively.
To meet the qualification criteria and make it to the reminder list of the Academy, entries have to be submitted within the stipulated deadline in November. Films applying for consideration should have had a theatrical release in one of six qualifying US metro areas - namely Los Angeles country, City of New York, Bay Area, including counties of San Francisco, Marin Alameda, San Mateo and Contra Costa, Chicago (Cook County, Illinois), Miami (Miami-Dade Country, Florida and Atlanta (Fulton County, Georgia – with a minimum of seven consecutive days in the same theatre with three screenings daily, with at least in the time slot between 6 pm and 10 pm daily.
When the news of Kantara and Vikrant Rona making it to the reminder list broke, a source had told us, “If you really want to make it to the Academy’s long list, you just need to buy out the eligibility quota of shows at one of the qualifying theatres, which is what some of the films from India have done.”