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Newton picked for Oscar entry

Newton, a black comedy centred around an election official on duty in a Maoist conflict zone in central India, was picked as the country's official entry for the next Oscars on a day the film opened in theatres.

By Our Special Correspondent
  • Published 23.09.17
  •  

New Delhi, Sept. 22: Newton, a black comedy centred around an election official on duty in a Maoist conflict zone in central India, was picked as the country's official entry for the next Oscars on a day the film opened in theatres.

In a happy coincidence for all those involved with the movie, the word about its selection by the Film Federation of India (FFI) to represent India at the Academy Awards in the Best Foreign Film Category came around the time curtains were going up on the first show in halls across the country.

The Rajkummar Rao-starrer was already being celebrated by some leading lights, including Amitabh Bachchan. A Drishyam Films production, Newton has been directed by Amit V. Masurkar.

Actor Rao, who has done a series of off-beat films along with some regular Bollywood flicks as the lead, himself broke the news on Twitter: "Very happy to share this news that #NEWTON is India's official entry to the #OSCARS this year. Congratulations team."

The others in the reckoning included the Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal and Mukti Bhawan in Hindi, and Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum in Malayalam. Asked why Newton was picked, a FFI official said it "checked all the boxes".

The Oscar selection is bound to help Newton at the box-office by fanning interest among viewers. According to the federation, the movie was chosen from among 26 films by a 14-member jury.

Asked about the timing of the selection and its announcement, the FFI official said it was purely coincidental.

"The screening schedule for the selection is conducted in September every year and the announcement made around this time. This year, it just happened to coincide with the release of the film selected," the official added.

Newton - which had its world premiere at the 67th Berlin Film Festival in February - has already won the International Federation of Art Cinemas (CICAE) award in the Forum segment of the festival.