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Oscars 2022 shortlist: India’s official entry Koozhangal bows out, Rintu Thomas’ Writing with Fire makes the cut

Oscar shortlists in 10 categories were unveiled on Tuesday. India had a reason to celebrate with the documentary Writing with Fire making it to the next round of voting while its official entry Pebbles is out.

By: Entertainment Desk | New Delhi |
December 22, 2021 10:00:40 am
KoozhangalKoozhangal stars a host of newcomers and is produced by Vignesh Shivan and Nayanthara. (Photo: International Film Festival Rotterdam/YouTube)

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Tuesday announced the shortlists in 10 categories for the upcoming Oscars, including Best International Film. India’s official entry this year, the Tamil film Koozhangal (Pebbles), is out of the race.

Fans also fumed at the exclusion of France’s Palme d’Or-winning Titane, which many surmised was too extreme for Academy voters. Titane, a body horror film about identity and found family, is directed by Julia Ducournau and was always considered an outside contender. But its big win at the Cannes Film Festival led many to believe that it could make the final cut.

Other favourites in the Best International Film category are director Ryusuke Hamaguchi’s Drive My Car and Joachim Trier’s The Worst Person in the World. Here’s the full list:

Great Freedom (Austria) – dir. Sebastian Meise
Playground (Belgium) – dir. Laura Wandel
Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom (Bhutan) – dir. Pawo Choyning Dorji
Flee (Denmark) – dir. Jonas Poher Rasmussen
Compartment No. 6 (Finland) – dir. Juho Kuosmanen
I’m Your Man (Germany) – dir. Maria Schrader
Lamb (Iceland) – dir. Valdimar Jóhannsson
A Hero (Iran) – dir. Asghar Farhadi
The Hand of God (Italy) – dir. Paolo Sorrentino
Drive My Car (Japan) – dir. Ryusuke Hamaguchi
Hive (Kosovo) – dir. Blerta Basholli
Prayers for the Stolen (Mexico) – dir. Tatiana Huezo
The Worst Person in the World (Norway) – dir. Joachim Trier
Plaza Catedral (Panama) – dir. Abner Benaim
The Good Boss (Spain) – dir. Fernando León de Aranoa

Despite Pebbles’ omission, India has a reason to celebrate. Directors Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh’s Writing with Fire, a film about a newspaper run by Dalit women, has been shortlisted in the Best Documentary Feature category. Here’s the full list:

Ascension (MTV Documentary Films) – dir. Jessica Kingdon
Attica (Showtime) – dir. Stanley Nelson
Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry (Apple Original Films) – dir. RJ Cutler
Faya Dayi (Janus Films) – dir. Jessica Beshir
The First Wave (National Geographic) – dir. Matthew Heineman
Flee (Neon) – dir. Jonas Poher Rasmussen
In the Same Breath (HBO Documentary Films) – dir. Nanfu Wang
Julia (Sony Pictures Classics) – dir. Julie Cohen, Betsy West
President (Greenwich Entertainment) – dir. Camilla Nielsson
Procession (Netflix) – dir. Robert Greene
The Rescue (National Geographic) – dir. Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
Simple as Water (HBO Documentary Films) – dir. Megan Mylan
Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)” (Hulu/Searchlight Pictures) – dir. Quest Love
The Velvet Underground (Apple Original Films) – dir. Todd Haynes
Writing with Fire (Music Box Films) – dir. Rintu Thomas

Academy producers should be pleased with the Best Original Song shortlist, which includes some of the biggest pop stars in the world. At least three will eventually perform during the ceremony, which needs a desperate leg up after scoring its lowest ever ratings last year. Here’s the list:

So May We Start? from Annette (Amazon Studios) Ron Mael, Russell Mael (Sparks)
Down To Joy from Belfast (Focus Features) Van Morrison
Right Where I Belong from Brian Wilson: Long Promised Road (Screen Media Films) Brian Wilson, Jim James
Automatic Woman from Bruised (Netflix) H.E.R. (other songwriters to be added)
Dream Girl from Cinderella (Amazon Studios) Idina Menzel, Laura Veltz
Beyond The Shore from CODA (Apple Original Films) Nicholai Baxter, Matt Dahan, Sian Heder, Marius de Vries
The Anonymous Ones from Dear Evan Hansen (Universal Pictures) Benj Pasek, Justin Paul, Amandla Stenberg
Just Look Up from Don’t Look Up (Netflix) Nicholas Britell, Ariana Grande, Scott Mescudi, Taura Stinson
Dos Oruguitas from Encanto (Walt Disney Pictures) Lin-Manuel Miranda
Somehow You Do from Four Good Days (Vertical Entertainment) Diane Warren
Guns Go Bang from The Harder They Fall (Netflix) Jeymes Samuel, Scott Mescudi, Shawn Carter
Be Alive from King Richard (Warner Bros) Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Dixson
No Time To Die from No Time to Die (MGM/United Artists Releasing) Billie Eilish, Finneas O’Connell
Here I Am (Singing My Way Home) from Respect (MGM/United Artists Releasing) Jamie Alexander Hartman, Jennifer Hudson, Carole King
Your Song Saved My Life from Sing 2 (Illumination/Universal Pictures) Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen, Jr.

Shortlists were also unveiled for the makeup and hairstyling, sound, visual effects, original score, and short films; animated, documentary and live-action. The 94th Academy Awards will be held on March 27; the final nominees will be announced on February 8.

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