As Vivek Agnihotri celebrates The Kashmir Files’ Oscars ‘contender’ status, Nikhil Chinapa asks what that even means

Bollywood Entertainment

Nikhil Chinapa asked filmmaker Vivek Agnihotri about the status of his film The Kashmir Files at the upcoming Oscars on Twitter. On Tuesday, the filmmaker put a poster of the film with the title ‘Official Contender From India’. Earlier this week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) had announced the full list of 301 films which were eligible for the Oscars this year. A few Indian films have made the list. However, there are four Indian films officially shortlisted and in the running in their categories – RRR, Last Film Show (Chhello Show), All That Breathes and The Elephant Whisperers. (Also read: Hansal Mehta takes an indirect dig at Vivek Agnihotri for celebrating Oscars eligibility list announcement)

Nikhil, who is a former VJ, took to Twitter to ask Vivek, “What is an official ‘contender’?” after he put up the poster of The Kashmir Files with the Oscars logo. Earlier on Tuesday, Vivek had stated, “Thanks for your love, support and blessings. This is the year of Indian Cinema. #Oscars2023.” Additionally, the poster claimed that the film was an ‘Official Contender From India’.

Others also raised questions on Vivek celebrating the mere eligibility list. “In the difference between ‘official contender’ and ‘official entry’ lies all the truth,” wrote a person. “Why have you put “contender” line in fine print, and Oscars in large? So that people don’t realise it didn’t make it to the shortlist,” asked another. “Contenders may be many,is this an achievement?,”

The rules on the terms of Oscars eligibility on its official website is as follows: To be eligible for consideration under rules implemented for the 95th Academy Awards year, feature films must open in a commercial motion picture theater in at least one of six US metropolitan areas: Los Angeles County; the City of New York; the Bay Area; Chicago, Illinois; Miami, Florida; and Atlanta, Georgia, between January 1, 2022, and December 31, 2022, and complete a minimum qualifying run of seven consecutive days in the same venue. Feature films must have a running time of more than 40 minutes.

The other Indian films that have passed these very basic terms of eligibility besides the Kashmir Files include RRR, Kantara, Gangubai Kathiawadi, Me Vasantrao, Tuzhya Sathi Kahi Hi, Rocketry: The Nambi Effect, Iravin Nizhal, Vikrant Rona. Last Film Show has been submitted by India to be its official entry in the Best International Feature Film category.

Earlier this week, filmmaker Hansal Mehta had also taken a dig at Vivek after he announced that The Kashmir Files had “been shortlisted for #Oscars2023 in the first list of @TheAcademy. It’s one of the 5 films from India” on Twitter. The final nominations for Oscars will be announced on Tuesday, January 24.

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