Bollywood Deserves Its Own Oscar Category

The 81st Academy Awards event in 2009 has actually been described as the "Indian Oscars" because the film 'Slumdog Millionaire' won eight awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. The film is embeddeded in India, the actors are Indian, one-third of the dialogue remains in Hindi (among India's numerous languages), and there's a Bollywood-style tune at the end, but it is not, as lots of Americans think, an Indian movie. The filmmakers, consisting of the director Danny Boyle, are British. Only three of the film's 8 Academy Awards went to Indians: legendary composer A.R. Rahman won Best Original Score, Rahman and lyricist Gulzar won Best Original Song, and ResulPookutty won Best Sound Mixing-which is not to be confused with Best Sound Editing. Yes, there are 2 different Academy Awards for sound production, along with 2 awards for documentary, 2 awards for animation, and three awards for short film. At the 82nd Academy Awards to be kept in 2010, the variety of Best Picture nominees will certainly double to 10. And yet, there is only one award for Best Foreign Language Film, picked from a simple five candidates. Bollywood, the largest film industry in the world in terms of film output and audience numbers, has never won that award. And it's not because Bollywood films do not deserve the honor. Find more info on Badlapur here.

Over the last 20 years, the countries that have controlled the best foreign film category are France (10 elections, 1 win), Germany (8 nominations, 2 wins), Italy (6 elections, 3 wins), Spain (5 nominations, 3 wins), and Russia (five elections, 1 win). Non-European countries have actually taken the award home only 4 times in the previous twenty years: Japan in 2008, South Africa in 2005, and Canada in 2003 (the film remained in French), and Taiwan in 2000. An Indian film has actually just been nominated three times in the history of the award: 'Mother India' in 1957, 'Salaam Bombay' in 1988, and 'Lagaan' in 2001.

Possibly the category needs to be relabeled Best European Film for the sake of accuracy. And while the Academy is at it, it could include a new classification: Best Bollywood Film.
The ceremony is already way too long, but eliminating or integrating a few of the redundant categories previously pointed out would make time for amazing news ones-and excitement is what that ceremony requires. Exactly what could live it up more than the spectacle of Bollywood? Why, it would revive the glamour and beauty of Old Hollywood. Think about the red carpet-all those magnificent stars in shimmering saris and silk sherwanis! The fashion commentators would flip. American celebs would not even compare in their similar tuxes and blah-black dress.
But, alas, it's not to be-at least not in 2010. There will certainly be no trace of Bollywood at all next year.
The Film Federation of India selected a Marathi-language film, 'Harishchandrachi Factory,' as India's main submission for the 2010 Academy Awards in the very best international film classification. The film beat 15 candidates, including a number of mainstream Bollywood movies such as 'Fashion,' 'New York,' and 'Delhi-6.' This is the second time India has sent out a Marathi film to the Academy-the initially was 'Shwaas' in 2004. 'Harishchandrachi Factory' is a function film about the making of India's first feature film, 'Raja Harishchandra,' in 1913. (India's film industry predates America's by one year-Hollywood's first function film was shot in 1914.).
The Film Federation of India, which picks India's Oscar submissions, is an umbrella trade organization that represents all India's film industries. That's right-Bollywood is only one of many in India. Picture if the U.S. had a flourishing Spanish-language film market that provided Hollywood a run for its money, or local film industries in Chicago, Atlanta, and Seattle that matched L.A.'s. That's how it remains in India. The term "Bollywood" describes the Hindi-language film market based in the city of Mumbai, which was formerly known as Bombay. The nation's other film markets include Kollywood, which refers to Tamil-language films made in the Kodambakkam district in the city of Chennai; Mollywood, which is Malayalam-language movie theater in the state of Kerala; and Tollywood, which refers to both Telugu-language films from the state of Andhra Pradesh and Bengali-language films made in the Tollygunge area of Kolkata. (Marathi-language Movie Theater is too little to obtain a nickname.).
The method the Best Foreign Language Film category works is this: each nation is invited to submit one film to the Academy Awards for factor to consider, the Academy then narrows those submissions down to five nominees, and among the nominees is then voted the winner. But Bollywood has to pass through 2 obstacles: first it needs to take on other Indian film industries and after that compete on a global platform that's prejudiced towards Europe.
There's another reason Bollywood movies do not stand an opportunity of winning. Like Hollywood, Bollywood is a commercial movie industry-for the most part, it makes popular movie theater, not art film. And the candidates in the foreign film classification are typically extremely arty. Even Hollywood's Best Picture winners wouldn't have actually won because category. In an individual competition, would the 1999 Best Picture winner 'Shakespeare in Love' have beaten the international film winner, Italy's 'Life is Beautiful'? Not a chance. Would the 1995 winner 'Forrest Gump' have beaten Russia's 'Burnt by the Sun,' which won the foreign film Oscar and the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival that year? No chance.
The possibility of Bollywood ever winning the foreign film award is slim. Not that Indians really care because they have their own awards ceremonies-namely, the Filmfare Awards. There are no boring classifications at that occasion and there are some very intriguing ones to boot-like "Best Villain," "Best Male/Female Debut," and "Best Dialogue." Even the statue is better-instead of a muscular gold male that appears like a creepy, naked Ken doll, Filmfare winners get a figurine of a curvy dark girl. When it pertains to entertainment, Bollywood simply knows ways to amuse, even at awards ceremonies. It's a shame it won't get an Oscar for it.