Good start and a shocking finish: Tamil film 'Koozhangal' is out of the Oscars race!

In what has become a shocking finish despite a good start, Tamil film Koozhangal is out of the Oscars race as it has failed to make it to the next round in the international feature film category at the 2022 Academy Awards. Koozhangal is the only movie from India to enter this crucial category and following its exit, India has no representation on the shortlised cards of international feature films.

The path of Koozhangal had been successful with gaining huge recognition and bagging several remarkable awards and honours from the international festivals. The announcement that Koozhangal is out of the race was made after the release of the shortlisted movies that was unveiled by the Academy of Motion Picture of Arts and Science early Wednesday- December 22. 

Koozhangal is helmed by debut director PS Vinothraj and is bankrolled by Vignesh Shivan and Nayanthara, under their banner Rowdy Pictures. According to reports, the film follows the story of an alcoholic man and his son, who set off to bring their wife/mother back home after she goes to her parents' home due to her husband's abuse. The film was screened at several international film festivals, including the prestigious International Film Festival of Rotterdam, in which it has become the first Tamil film to win the Tiger Awards. 

It also was screened at the Shanghai Film Festival and the recently held International Film Festival of India in Goa. It was also recently nominated for the Spirit Awards in the US, which are held a day before the Oscars. Director-cum-producer Vignesh Shivan shared the news that Koozhangal was out of the Oscars race on Twitter and expressed his gratitude to the director and the Indian jury members for what had been the movie's successful path.

He wrote, "Would have been great to be on this list! Nevertheless, I thank @PsVinothraj for giving such a pure cinema! I thank the Indian jury members for selecting our film as the official entry for the Oscars this year. Thanking all our-well wishers & friends for rooting for us." He also had shared the final list of the shortlisted films that had entered the next round in the international feature film category. Earlier, he had expressed hope that Koozhangal enters the shortlisted finalists. 

Nayanthara and Vignesh Shivan with the Koozhangal movie crew during its premiere at Rotterdam Film Festival


He said, "Hope #Pebbles (Koozhangal) enters the shortlist of fifteen finalists for the Best International Feature Film! After Lagaan, after almost 20 years an Indian film making it to the list will be a remarkable achievement! @PsVinothraj deserves it too!". Though there are no Indian movies in the category of the international feature film following Koozhangal's exit, on the other hand, the Indian documentary feature 'Writing With Fire' has entered the next round. 

Writing With Fire revolves around the rise of Khabar Lahariya, India's only newspaper run by Dalit women. The documentary is directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh, who are debutants. The documentary follows this ambitious group led by their Chief reporter Meera as the team switches from print to digital in order to stay relevant.

In the International Feature film category, 15 films were shortlisted as finalists and they are - 'Great Freedom' from Austria, 'Playground' from Belgium, 'Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom' from Bhutan, 'Flee' from Denmark, 'Compartment No 6' from Finland, 'I'm Your Man' from Germany, 'Lamb' from Iceland, 'A Hero' from Iran, 'The Hand of God' from Italy, 'Drive My Car' from Japan, 'Hive' from Kosovo, 'Prayers for the Stolen' from Mexico, 'The Worst Person in the World' from Norway, 'Plaza Catedral' from Panama, and 'The Good Boss' from Spain. The final nominations will be announced on February 8 and the award ceremony will be held on March 27, during which the winner will be announced.