27 Oct – India recently announced that it will be submitting Tamil movie, "Koozhangal" (aka "Pebbles") as its official entry for the Best International Picture category for the 2022 Oscars.
The film, which is written and directed by PS Vinothraj, bested other contenders including Hindi movie "Sardar Udham", Tamil film "Mandela" and Malayalam film "Nayattu". There were 14 films that were shortlisted for the Oscars 2022, and reportedly, the selection of "Koozhangal" by the 15-member selection committee was unanimous.
Starring newcomers Chellapandi and Karuththadaiyaan, "Koozhangal" revolves around the relationship between a drunkard father and his young son, as the former tries to win back his wife's affections after she returns to her parents' house to avoid his abuse.
The film was previously screened in February 2021 at the 50th International Film Festival of Rotterdam in Netherlands, and won the prestigious Tiger Award. It is the first Tamil film to win this award.
As to why the selection committee decided not to pick popular choice, "Sardar Udham", jury member Indraadip Dasgupta stated, "Sardar Udham is a little lengthy and harps on the Jallianwala Bagh incident. It is an honest effort to make a lavish film on an unsung hero of the Indian freedom struggle. But in the process, it again projects our hatred towards the British. In this era of globalisation, it is not fair to hold on to this hatred."