Bengali film Roktokorobi has been longlisted for the general category of the Academy Award (Best Picture), keeping India in the Oscars race after its official entry, Newton, did not make the list. Inspired by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s drama of the same name, the film is among 340 others, of which nine will be shortlisted for the Best Picture Oscar. It is up against such movies as Call Me By Your Name, Missouri, Lady Bird, The Post and Dunkirk. The longlist was announced on December 19. Speaking to The Indian Express, film director Amitabha Bhattacharya said Roktokorobi is the first Bengali film to make it to the Academy Awards general category long list.
“Now the real competition has begun, and we are hoping for the best, because the movie received positive reviews from jury members of the Academy. They appreciated the script, music and background score. Actors were also praised,” he said.
Roktokorobi was released in Indian theatres on July 28, and features Bengali actors Kaushik Sen, Shantilal Mukherjee, Rahul and Mumtaz Sorcar, among others.
“The movie now also has the chance of getting selected in other sub-categories such as Best Music, Best Cinematography, Best Actor, Best Actress and so on,” Bhattacharya added.
“About Rs 1.2 crore was used to make this film… We are delighted by the news (of the selection),” film producer Rituparna Thakur told The Indian Express.
To be considered for Oscars, films must launch at least one theatre in Los Angeles by December 31 midnight, and run for a minimum of seven consecutive days. They must have a running time of more than 40 minutes, and must have been exhibited theatrically on 35mm or 70mm film, or in a qualifying digital format. Final nominations will be announced on January 23, and the ceremony will be held on March 4.