What a surprise. Lage Raho and RDB have not made it into the nominations for the Oscars. But I’m not annoyed because they are such good films and deserved to win. I hate the idea of the Indian film industry as an industry giving Hollywood an opportunity to evaluate us, since all they have done for the past million years is implicitly insult the Indian film industry by nominating it only twice for best foreign film and never giving it the ‘very very prestigious’ Oscar it now looks like it is desperately longing for.

The Oscars are just a way for Hollywood to boast their world dominance in the film world and to show other film industries down. They are not the international awards they may claim to be. The rest of the world gets the award for Best Foreign Film, while the Best Picture goes just to a Hollywood film. Does this mean that no matter how good film makers are abroad, the best film every year will be made by Hollywood? Well I think Lagaan did many things better than Gladiator while …………… would have impacted its target audience much more than………………

But we continue to tolerate abuse.

What are the Oscars? They are the film academy awards for the USA, one country in the world. But Hollywood, in monetary terms, is the most successful industry. So this gives them the right to evaluate all the film industries around the world. Because they earn the most profit, they are allowed to tell the rest of the world that they have made, are making and will always make the best films and that they are in a totally different league. Films from other parts of the world can compete in an insignificant category.

Does a film’s budget show how good it is in the end? Or the innovativeness of the technologies used? Or does the impact on its targeted audiences and influence on society actually count?

Hollywood films are watched globally while Indian films are still unfamiliar to many audiences. But if India was a superpower economy, people would try to adopt Indian culture, and so watch Indian films. Right?

 India has made films for many years, and has been very successful in delivering them to audiences of a subcontinent and beyond. It has made films that are received by over a third of the world’s population and it has some stars that are more famous than Hollywood stars, in terms of the number of people who know them. India has excelled in providing entertainment and messages to its target audiences, apart from being lucrative commercially. It may even be argued that for India it is harder to make films that can be accepted by everyone, because of the various social groups across different levels of literacy and class. As a result, one may suggest that it has done its job better than Hollywood, but just been modest about it.

But we let them decide how well we have done our job.

So why even try to participate in these ‘awards’ and get insulted every year? In fact, like the Oscars, Golden Globes and BAFTAs, Filmfare should provide awards for best foreign films, having Hollywood send in a film every year. After all, the Indian film industry has always been exceptionally successful in what it does and India is undoubtedly not short of film academics and great filmmakers, who would be the ‘very fair’ judges the Oscars claim to provide.

It is high time we stop sending our films around the world to be evaluated. We know the stuff we make works where it has to. Let’s have some pride in what we do!

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