India’s official Oscar entry ‘2018’ fails to make it to final 15

The 96th Academy Awards are scheduled to take place on March 10, 2024, in Los Angeles.

2018 Poster

Mohnish Singh

Malayalam film 2018: Everyone is a Hero, India’s official entry in the international feature film category at the 2024 Academy Awards, is out of the Oscars race.

The Jude Anthany Joseph-directed film failed to make it to the shortlist of 15 films for the category, which was announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) on Friday.

Jonathan Glazer’s historical drama The Zone of Interest (UK), Denmark’s The Promised Land, starring Mads Mikkelsen, and Perfect Days from Japan are being billed as the frontrunners of the category.

The shortlist also includes Amerikatsi (Armenia), The Monk and the Gun (Bhutan), Fallen Leaves (Finland), The Taste of Things (France), The Teachers’ Lounge (Germany), Godland (Iceland), Io Capitano (Italy), Totem (Mexico), The Mother of All Lies (Morocco), Society of the Snow (Spain), Four Daughters, (Tunisia) and 20 Days in Mariupol (Ukraine).

Films from 88 countries were eligible in the category. The shortlisted movies will advance to the next round of voting.

2018, starring Tovino Thomas in the lead, was announced as India’s official entry for the 96th Oscars in September this year. The movie narrates the story of the devastating Kerala floods in 2018.

According to the makers, the film has earned over £20 million crore at the box office to become the highest-grossing film in Malayalam cinema.

In a post on Instagram, Joseph said the opportunity to represent India on a global platform like the Oscars was nothing short of a dream.

“I sincerely apologise to all my well-wishers and supporters for disappointing you all. Nevertheless, the opportunity to represent India in this competition has been a dream-like journey that I will cherish for a lifetime.

“Being the highest-grossing film and the official Indian entry to the Oscars is a rare achievement in any filmmaker’s career. I am grateful to God for choosing me for this extraordinary journey,” the filmmaker wrote.

The AMPAS also unveiled shortlists for nine other categories — original song, original score, sound, documentary feature, documentary short, animated short film, live action short film, makeup and hairstyling, and visual effects.

At the 95th Academy Awards, RRR and The Elephant Whisperers, the two Indian films that won the best original song and best documentary short, were sent to the Oscars directly by the makers, but India’s official entry in the international film category, Gujarati film Chhello Show (Last Film Show), couldn’t make it to the final five nominations.

The last Indian film that made it to the final five was the Aamir Khan-led Lagaan in 2001.

The 96th Academy Awards are scheduled to take place on March 10, 2024, in Los Angeles.