Indian Movie won’t win an Oscar because

India makes about 1500 movies per annum, which is almost half of the total movies made around the world. But how many movies have won an Oscar. Everyone would jump up and say Slumdog Millionaire, but Slumdog Millionaire, Life of Pi and Gandhi which have resulted in Indians winning Oscars were conceptualised, produced and directed by Non-Indians. Everyone in India were flattered by these movies and everyone hoped that these movies would win The Best Picture award in the Oscar,Slumdog Millionaire won this prestigious award. And most celebrated as though this was kind of victory for Indian Movie Industry, but actually its a shame that non of these were completely Indian Movies.

The List of Indians who won The Oscars


Only 5 indians have won oscars, Bhanu Athaiya, Russell Pookutty, AR Rahaman, Gulzar & Satyjit Ray. Satyajit Ray received honorary award in 1991 and all others have worked in the movies made by foreign production houses.

Most of the Indian movies which are submitted for Oscars are of poor quality and if we have sent a good movie than we don’t publicise in the world market. In 1957, India for the first time sent a movie for Oscars, Mother India and it was also nominated in the final five, but couldn’t get the nod for the Best Foreign Picture. The next two movies which were nominated in the final five were Salam Bombay! (1988) and Lagaan (2001). It’s really surprising for a country which makes about 1500 movies, to fail so miserably in the Oscars.

Why does Indian movie doesn’t win an Oscar or frequently get nominated.

1. We don’t send our best movies to the Oscar: Yes, its true we don’t send our best movie to Oscar. Since 1957, India has sent 45 movies for Oscars only two of these movies won National Award for Best Picture, they were “Apur Sansar” (The World of Apu) by Satyajit Ray and “Adaminte Makan Abu” (Abu, Son of Adam).

a Classic by Satyajit Ray

a Classic by Satyajit Ray

Adaminte Makan Abu

Adaminte Makan Abu (Abu, Son of Adam)

In the year 1970, 1975 and 1976 India didn’t send its official submissions, but in these years, “Samskara”, “Chomana Dudi” & “Mrigayaa” had won the national awards. Movie “Samskara” a kannada movie had even won the Bronze prize at Locarno International Film Festival.

Samskara - A dead man's rite

Samskara – Winner of Bronze prize at Locarno International Film Festival

In the Year 1998, India sent movie “Jeans” as its official entry, pushing aside movie “Samar” by shyam Benagal which won the national award. But still we chose to send “Jeans” which was a below average movie, because it had one face which was globally recognised around the world – Aishwarya Rai. In the year 2007, “Eklavya – The Royal Guard” was the official entry, but back in India it was proved that it was given an international push because the director pulled the right strings in the selection committee.

Ekalavya - The Royal Disaster

Ekalavya – The Royal Disaster

Oscar Submission & National Award Winners List from India

2. Palgarised Movies: Most of the movies in India could be categorised as Romcoms (Romance and Comedy) and the storyline of most of these movies are same, but with a minor twist and turns. In the Recent past, most of our movies are beyond logic and are re-makes of an another movie either Indian or Hollywood.

Barfi is insprired by

Barfi! – Its a Copy

In the year 2012, India sent “Barfi!” as its official submission. But this movie had many scenes which were directly inspired (lifted) from the international classics and how could we expect this to be nominated, let alone win the Oscar. But by sending Barfi! India made a big mistake which sidelined the movies of great caliber in international film arena, may be one these could have garnered an oscar, the movies which lost out to Barfi! were “Kahaani”, “Paan Singh Tomar” and “Dirty Picture”.

A deserving movie lost out to copy-cat Barfi!

A deserving movie lost out to copy-cat Barfi!

3. Cultural Differences : Most of the Indian movies are lengthy when compared to western movies. Most of Indian movies incorporate a minimum of 5 – 6 songs which makes the movies 30 to 35 minutes longer and these songs are most of the times are irrelevant to the story.

Most of the movies which win an Oscar in the Foreign picture category would have a great story and unique characteristics of the host country in the movie.

4. Lack of Publicity : Incase a great movie from india goes for Oscar, the movie is not publicised in the international market to draw right kind of audiences. Many times India sends wrong choice of movies to Oscars and once in a while it sends a great movie, but totally miss out on the pre-nomination publicity that’s required for a movie.

A great movie, alas it didn't win an oscar

A great movie, alas it didn’t win an oscar

Only movie which received right amount of publicity before being nominated in the Oscar race were, “Lagaan”, “Bandit Queen”, “Salaam Bombay!” & “1947 Earth”.

5. Biased Selection committee in FFI : From 1957 to 2012, India has sent 45 movies to Oscars out of this 30 movies were from Bollywood, but during the same period Bollywood movies which won the National Award were only 8, why this bias while submitting the best movie from India. The biggest losers during this period were the movies from Bengali, Malayalam and Kannada Industry which had 14, 12 and 7 movies respectively.

FFI has been known for its goof-ups which came out publicly on two occasions, while Ekalavya and Barfi! were selected as India’s Official Submission to Oscars.

6. Star & Budget Factor : Indians in recent times aren’t watching sensitive and meaningful movies, rather everyone is behind the movies which has a combination of SuperStars, Big Budget, Gimmicks, Item Song, etc. Many argue that movies is a way of relaxation and entertainment, and totally disregard movies which are very humble, low-budget and Acting based.

Recently a Kannada Movie “Koormavatara” which had won 6 – 7 international awards wasn’t even had a single theatre to be released in Karnataka, as all theatres have been booked for Big Budget Kannada, Hindi, Telugu, English, etc movies.  This movie wouldn’t be much different from “Amour”, an austrian film which won the Best Foreign Movie Oscar this year.

7. Meaningless Award Functions  : India has multiple Award for each category, for example award for the Leading Actor, the categories would be Best Actor, Most Sensational Actor, Critics Award Male, Viewers choice Award, MoneyMaker Award etc, and in this various categories each and every big star gets an award and acting gets sidelined. In Bollywood alone we have 8 different award ceremonies presented by each and every entertainment channel, and everyone is a winner in these ceremonies.

Look at this example :

Big Star Awards 2012

Best Actor in Comedy: Abhishek Bachchan , Best Actor in Romantic film: Shahrukh Khan, Best Actor in Action: Akshay Kumar, Best Actor Popular: Ranbir Kapoor

Colors Screen Award

Best Actor: Ranbir Kapoor & Irrfan Khan, Best Actor Popular : Salman Khan

Until we change the attitude of our film making and selection process, until than no Indian Movie would win an Oscar. If we conduct a poll most of the people in India would choose a classic movie than the current line of movies. Film Making is an art, but in recent years it has changed to a business model, acting has given way for gimmicks, marketing and item songs. But we have glimmer of hope as we have seen some of new generation movies of Kahaani, A Wednesday, Udaan, Gandhi My Father, Paan Singh Tomar, etc. Let’s hope we do things right and get rewarded with an Oscar in future



  1. Tum sahi kehte ho. till incredible that such an awful movie as Jeans was sent to the Oscars, the same year that one of the best Hindi movies ever made (Satya by RGV) was released. Anotehr issue is that these film awarding ceremonies often have strong biases against certain directors and cheat them of awards they deserve – particularly directors who started out as independent filmmakers (such as RGV and Anurag Kashyap). meanwhile, idiots like Karan Johar are repeatedly feted at these ceremonies.

  2. Great article man! This was what I was looking for. So, So, So, So many movies are made every year in bollywood but none of them win an oscar. Forget about winning most of the films sent for oscars are not even nominated. They get rejected. Why, b’coz the standard of Indian films today is at its lowest. We are making absolutely “FalTu”!!! films which have no story at all and just filled with songs (mostly item songs) fake monkey action, drama with no realistic acting. There were times when Indian films were really good but now its total crap. Total shit!

  3. Awesome Article , Loved it….! and as a kannada audion i feel, the oscar selection is like a LOBBY, as u said The Dumb BARFI get into in 2012, and even Kannada classic “KOORMAVATARA” a brilliant art movie made in kannada, won many awards, oscar juries from india din selected that movie.
    Hope we look changes in future days.

  4. You have written awsome my friend, i also have the same thinking as you, and i think Gangs of Wasseypur in 2012 was also one of the great film, I think 99% of indians do not have any knowledge to judge movies, movies that deserves an oscar,every one just watches the films on the basis of big stars and budgets even though that film has no meaning and is totally stupidity. India’s people do not understand the concept of meaningful cinema. And this thing is something to cry for… But there are some of the movies which are well written and deserves each and every persons attention.

  5. i personally feel barfi was the right film to be sent to the oscars last year; regardless of the fact that it did not get nominated. the acting by ranbir kapoor and priyanka chopra was simply amazing. it described a genre which rarely is touched upon by bollywood.
    but in my opinion, i feel the lunchbox or english vinglish DEFINITELY should have been sent to the oscars over the good road. both were breath-taking stories- india could have recieved a nomination with thee films. film board of india- pls reconsider

  6. Now-a-days movie making had turned into a business rather than an art. Even people are often insensitive to the very cause of watching movie and that’s why halls always get crowded when movies like jai ho are switched.Also the makers don’t come up with new ideas and are busy copying from others most of the time.

  7. there are some dubai based NRI having black money with them promote their movie by doing just online submissions … In India this NRI hire P agency just to propgate that their movie got into nomination list.

  8. the selection committee who decides the film that to be sent for oscars has to be replaced first.the only movie from south india and second one from India which has been sent is “ADAMINTE MAKAN ABU”,which obviously was box office disaster.More number of people should come up to watch ,encourage and as well as criticize the movies.Even more number of good films that are eligible for the oscar nominations are been made in kerala and in tamilnadu .both these industries should be considered well before the nominations are sent

  9. India is that wedding mandap where Bollywood and IPL tie their knots…a dumb film industry catering to superdumb audience….and they celebrate 100 years of Bollywood…in how many award ceremonies, true filmmakers like Ray or Adur Gopalkrishnan are paid tribue? fake country…its not a country…its a market..

  10. Pingback: The List of Indian Oscar winners | RaoWords

  11. Bollywood definitely has a dearth of good script writers. If the stories are bland there is no point in blaming the movies or rather the film industry. Rather than making remakes of old film, south films or hollywood films, writers should spare some time to think a story of their own…and barring a selected few exceptions….majority of the actors in the industry are either hunks or beauty queens….who remain wooden throughout the movie….we need actors who can actually ‘act’ not just. The whole system needs to be upgraded.

  12. i think you are right , because see now-a-days every film in INDIA crosses 100 crores that doesn’t mean every film is good . it is only because majority people watch film based on their favorite actor and actress . not based on the story , and based on their acting skills . i do also agree that the film makers should bring something new in all catogaries and some new story as holly-wood do .
    some catogaries which we INDIAN film makers brings rarely in films are


    the only things we see in films more are tragedy, and a sort of songs shooted either regional or abroad depending on budget

  13. truely, we accept this article further to state i don’t even consider lagaan can get or a qualified for oscar. it lacks reality. its just a joke on british for indian entertainment. i wish to have learnt any game at such short time.

  14. Since1913, indian audince maintenning the mentality to like only those mvies,which have a lovestory,4-5 melodious songs,beautyful heroin and beautyful hero….

    Producer, who put his money for making the movie is impatiant for the recovery of his money ,and he least bother for Oscar quality movie

    India itself is a bigest market for the movies….and hence,who cares for an OSCAR ?

  15. Excellent article *cheers*… Indian film industry is focusing on money and hw to entertain the masses with stupid dramas and other sequences… Its shame to know that our board itself lack those jury members who can differentiate between a good movie and just for entertainment kinda films. Many(or most :/ ) viewers are nt ready to accept classics and art films as they consider it as nt upto the mark, i mean, nt entertaining… Board’s decision to send jeans for oscar is absurd… Actually we dnt lack talent, we lack opportunity to express the talent.

  16. i agree with a lot of things in your article, however i believe barfi was a better movie than kahaani. it is not uncommon among the western filmmakers to pay homage to films they like by shotting certain scenes shot by shot. Quentin Tarantino is one of the most successful directors of his generation and he pays homages throughout his movies. The plot twist in Kahaani at the end involving the fake pregnancy was clearly ripped off from the movie ‘Taking Lives’. Both the movies were good. Barfi had scenes that do not actually do anything to further the plot but Kahaani borrowed the ending from an other movie. That in my opinion is plagiarism and if we send it to the oscar jury they’ll surely find the ending heavily borrowed.

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  18. I’m eager to told u what’s real problems of India or Indian …always Indian mentality ,thinking ,ideology ,imagination is totally outdated . they can’t match globally thinking or ideology .. They thinks only our Indian culture , traditions is great but I tell u Indian culture , traditions , principles is totally illogical n irrelevant .. Indian people r 100% nonsense they don’t have any scientific angle .. Indian people follows Meaningless godes power n third class religious worst n outdated principle.. I tell u with anger Democracy is big joke in India.. Its enough.

  19. Yah it was a great article but just wanna say.. filmmaking is art nodoubt. But it’s also for entertainment purposes.both artistic as well as entertaining cinema should be there. We should nt stick to one type.either artistic or entertaining

  20. Fuck FFI.!! India will never ever gonna nominated for “academy award for best foreign film” now and in near future because everyone knows the reason I think. We have to change our so called “respectable” committee member of FFI, if don’t then it’s a dream guys, we’ll never nominated or even won this prestigious award and show the world what really indian films are capable of! RIP FFI, just destroy yourself..

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