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Oscars 2024: Jharkhand (India) farmer attends ceremony for ‘To Kill a Tiger’…

Oscars 2024: Jharkhand (India) farmer attends ceremony for ‘To Kill a Tiger’…

Other key points from the ceremony which finished earlier this morning in LA (-7GMT) 

🎥 Best Live Action Short, ‘The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar’ wins Live Action Short category – both Sir Ben Kingsley and Dev Patel feature > more below 

🎥 Da’Vine Joy Randoph wins Best Supporting Actress category for her role in ‘The Holdovers’ (comes after Bafta win in the same category)

🎥 Canadian-Indian Nisha Pahuja attends ceremony with the father of the girl whose story she covered in the Best Documentary nominated, ‘To Kill a Tiger’. It loses out to ‘20 days in Mariupol’  > more below 

🎥 Christopher Nolan wins first Directing Oscar for ‘Oppenheimer’  
 Film wins seven awards in total, including Best Picture  
 Oscar for Best Actor and Supporting Actor Cillian Murphy and Robert Downey Jnr, respectively

🎥 ‘The Zone of Interest’ (UK) wins Best International Feature Film > more below

🎥 Billie Eilish and brother Finneas (O’Connell) win Best Original Song Oscar ‘What was I made for’ – only win for ‘Barbie’ on the evening, though Ryan Gosling and Margot Robbie, lead actor and executive producer, performed – with many saying Gosling’s performance was a particular highlight of the evening.   

IT’S A long way from a village in Jharkhand to the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles where the 96th Academy Awards took place last night (GMT), but farmer Ranjit made it there. 

He accompanied Indo-Candian filmmaker Nisha Pahuja whose documentary about his family ‘To Kill a Tiger’  was nominated in the Best Documentary category.  It lost out to a film about journalists stuck in Ukraine as the war broke out between it and Russia in February 2022. Called ‘20 Days in Mauripol’, it is the first ever Oscar win from that country. 

Pahuja’s story covers the incredible fight for justice Ranjit and his wife Jagranti launched following the rape of their 13-year-old daughter at a family wedding.  

Nisha Pahuja and Ranjit (Twitter) covered a screening late last year, when one of several of the film’s high profile executive producers, Dev Patel, joined Pahuja for a special screening in London. And no one who was there could forget the UK premiere of ‘To Kill a Tiger’ at the London Indian Film Festival (LIFF) last summer. Ranjit and his daughter appeared at the end of the screening. Her anonymity is being preserved, as she continues her studies in India – then 18, she told the audience that she is thinking about a career in the Indian Police Service following her and her family’s courageous stand. Initially, the family are ostracised by the community which believes the best course of action is for the girl, known as ‘Kiran’, to marry one of her three rapist assailants – they are all known by the family and village – as the 19-year-olds lived locally and were celebrating the same wedding of a village member. 

Pahuja had not intended to make such a film and stumbled on it, as she looked into the making of another subject. She saw such fortitude and courage from the girl and the family – Kiran has two other younger siblings – that she felt compelled to follow the Kiran’s and her father’s very personal journey through the courts and navigate the local politics of such a crime. Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Bollywood and Hollywood star, recently became another one of the film’s high profile executive producers – the others are Hollywood name, Mindy Kaling, spoken word sensation Rupi Kaur, filmmaker Deepa Mehta, best-selling author and US medic Atul Gawande. The film dropped on Netflix just recently. 

Riz Ahmed, who plays one of the central characters in the nominated ‘Nimona’ in the Animated Feature category, lost out to ‘The Boy and The Heron’.  He stars in this film about a “knight in a futuristic world” who is “framed for a crime he didn’t commit” and Nimona (Chloë Grace Moretz) is the only person, who can prove his innocence. She is a “mischievous teen who happens to be a shapeshifting creature he’s sworn to destroy” (IMDB). It is made by US indie company Annapurna Pictures and released in the US in the summer and is available on Netflix.  Ahmed already has an Oscar for live action short, ‘The Long Goodbye‘.

‘Kiran’ in to ‘Kill A Tiger

There was a South Asian win of sorts in the Live Action Short category with ‘The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar’. It is a Wes Anderson (‘The Darjeeling Llimited’) 40-minute film which has a star cast that includes Ben Kingsley, Dev Patel, Ralph Fiennes, Benedict Cumberbatch, pop star Jarvis Cocker and Rebecca Cornford. It is an adaptation of a Roald Dahl story and available on Netflix. It premiered at Venice Film Festival and was screened in selected cinemas in September last year. It centres around Henry Sugar (Cumberbatch) who can see through objects and has an ability to predict the future.  
The film beat off the challenge from ‘Red, White and Blue’ – a short film written and directed by British-born Bangladeshi Nazrin Choudhury, who is based in the US. The short drama is about a “poor, single mother (who) must go out of the state for a necessary abortion” (as described by IMDB). A short film, technically, is any production that is 40 minutes or under.  

 UK-made film ‘The Zone of Interest’ premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year and acv was among the first group of people to see it. Set in Auschwitz, and in German, it depicts a near idyllic family life of the camp commandant – while mass industrial slaughter takes places just yards from where children play and families picnic.  

Two other films that premiered in Cannes last year were also nominated and ‘Anatomy of a Fall’  won Best Original Screenplay and was nominated in five other categories but Sandra Huller could not follow up her Bafta win Actress in Leading Role – that went to Emma Stone in Yorgos Lanthimos’, ‘Poor Things’.  

 In the Documentary Feature section, the Tunisian ‘Four Daughters’ –  the hybrid Kaouther Ben Hania film was also nominated. It premiered in Cannes and recently got a UK screen release. The filmmaker invited two professional actors to take the place of two daughters who left home to join Isis. See here for more – 

Kingsley, Ahmed and Choudhury all attended – while the other South Asians snapped on the red carpet were Maitreyi Ramakrishnan (‘Never Have I Ever’); British-born but mostly US-educated Bela Bajaria, chief content officer Netflix; and Asad Ayaz, chief brand officer, The Walt Disney Company and president marketing, The Walt Disney Studios and Disney+.  

Remember last year When the song, ‘Naatu, Naatu’ from ‘RRR’ won; and Guneet Monga produced ‘The Elephant Whisperers’ triumphed in the Short Documentary category. This year it went to the US produced ‘The Last Repair Shop’.  

For technical reasons the video cannot be embedded but click on the link…

Main Picture credit Nisha Pahuja –

To Kill A Tiger –

This year we don’t have access to pictures and video courtesy of The Academy – as we are not in our home location – apologies… 🙏🏿

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Written by Asian Culture Vulture