SS Rajamouli’s blockbuster film Eega is the only Telugu film that has been shortlisted by the Film Federation of India to nominate India’s official entry to the Oscars. Can it break the 26-year-old jinx?
SS Rajamouli’s Eega, one of the most critically and commercially successful films of the year, is going to compete against 17 other films in the race to be India’s official entry to the Oscars. It’s the only Telugu film in contention this year, and the first Telugu film to find a place in the final list in several years.
Despite being one of top three film industries in the country, Telugu films are rarely in the spotlight when it comes to awards at the national or international stage. K Vishwanath’s Swathi Muthyam, which released back in 1986, is the only Telugu film to have been nominated as India’s entry to the Oscars in the Best Foreign Film category, although it couldn’t make it to the final five nominees. Can Eega break this 26-year-old jinx?
Over the past few years, FFI has been under tremendous amount of criticism for ignoring regional cinema and favouring Hindi cinema. In the past five years, one Malayalam film (Adaminte Makan Abu), one Marathi film (Harishchandrachi Factory) and three Hindi films (Peepli Live, Taare Zameen Par and Eklavya) were sent to the Oscars. Out of the 18 films shortlisted this year by FFI, there are 11 Hindi films, including Paan Singh Tomar, Barfi!, Kahaani, The Dirty Picture, Heroine, Gangs of Wasseypur – Part 1 & 2. Can Eega beat all odds to bag this honour of representing the country at the Academy Awards? “We have made a technically superior film and its innovative storytelling makes it stand apart from the rest. Let’s see how it goes,” Suresh Babu, one of the producers of the film, says, adding, “It’s true that there’s overwhelming competition from Hindi cinema. They’ll continue making their Paan Singh Tomars, Barfis and Dirty Pictures, but where will you find a fly taking revenge?” The jury, appointed by FFI, is currently in Hyderabad to watch all the 18 films and an announcement is likely to be made next week about which of these films will be sent to the Oscars. Films like Paan Singh Tomar, Kahaani and Barfi! have been universally acclaimed and analysts say that the odds are in their favour, but Telugu movie aficionados would be rooting for Eega, which has been the most innovative film in years. It’s our only ray of hope.
Race to the Oscars
- Eega (Telugu)
- 7am Arivu (Tamil)
- Vazhakku Enn 18/9 (Tamil)
- Akasathinte Niram (Malayalam)
- Heroine (Hindi)
- Paan Singh Tomar (Hindi)
- Kahaani (Hindi)
- Barfi! (Hindi)
- GoW – part 1 & 2 (Hindi)
- Arjun – The Warrior Prince (Hindi)
- Gattu (Hindi)
- Jalpari (Hindi)
- The Dirty Picture (Hindi)
- Ferrari Ki Sawari (Hindi)
- Deool (Marathi)
- Veer Hamirji – Somnath Ni Sakhate (Gujarati)
- Anhey Ghore Da Daan (Punjabi)
About the Author (Author Profile)
Hemanth writes primarily about Telugu cinema, although he finds inspiration from the works of filmmakers like Woody Allen. Apart from writing, he spends most of his time on Twitter discussing about cinema, travel and life in Hyderabad.