Newton, directed by Amit V Masurkar and starring Rajkummar Rao, which was submitted as India’s entry for the Academy Awards has not been included in the shortlist of films that will be contending for the Oscars in February next year. The movies that did make the short list are: “A Fantastic Woman” (Chile), “In the Fade” (Germany), “On Body and Soula (Hungary), “Foxtrot” (Israel), “The Insult” (Lebanon), “Loveless” (Russia), “Felicite” (Senegal), “The Wound” (South Africa) and “The Square” (Sweden).
Newton was universally acclaimed from the critics, and was considered a strong contender for the Oscars, but disappointingly it wasn’t included in the list. The only Indian movies that have managed to get nominated for Oscars have been, Mother India (1957), Lagaan (2001) and Salaam Bombay (1988). India’s fate in western award ceremonies has not been very good, since the movies are not considered serious fair from many critics outside the country and seldom get the kind of attention in major film festivals. However, as evidenced by the sky shattering box office performances of Dangal, and more prominently the Baahubali duology, foreign audiences are now making space for watching Indian movies.
After announcing the shortlist, the nominees for all the categories, along with Best Foreign Language movies will be revealed on 23 January, 2018.
The Academy has come under some skepticism regarding the Foreign Language movies, because of the number of films from every nation that are submitted and only five are the ones to get nominated in the end. For this specific category, a separate foreign executive committee was created so that each and every could be fairly evaluated by the members. However, it has bee reported that the executives could pass on the more acclaimed and awarded movies to give spotlight to the ones that need more exposure. Meanwhile, the omission of BPM, a french drama that deals with AIDS crises has created controversy.