‘Pebbles’ out of Oscars 2022 race, ‘Writing With Fire’ advances to next level

The final nominations will be announced on February 8, with the awards ceremony scheduled to be held on March 27

“Pebbles”, India’s official entry in the international feature film category at the 2022 Academy Awards, is out of the Oscars race.

On the other hand, Indian documentary feature “Writing With Fire” has entered the next round, according to the shortlists announced by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences early Wednesday.

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Critically-acclaimed “Pebbles”, or “Koozhangal” in Tamil, is helmed by first-time director Vinothraj PS. The drama follows an alcoholic abusive husband who, after his long-suffering wife runs off, sets out with his young son to find her and bring her back.

Also Read | ‘Koozhangal’ movie review: A sensational debut from PS Vinothraj that is evocative, visceral and powerful

In the international feature film category, 15 films are still in the running for the top prize. Films from 92 countries were eligible in the category.

Japanese film “Drive My Car”, “Flee” representing Denmark, Asghar Farhadi’s “A Hero” from Iran, and “The Hand of God” hailing from Italy are billed as frontrunners in this category.

“Great Freedom” (Austria), “Playground” (Belgium), “I’m Your Man” (Germany), “Hive” (Kosovo), “Prayers for the Stolen” (Mexico), “The Worst Person in the World” (Norway), “Plaza Catedral” (Panama), “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” (Bhutan), “Compartment No. 6” (Finland), “Lamb” (Iceland) and “The Good Boss” (Spain) are also part of this line-up.

“Writing With Fire” chronicles the rise of Khabar Lahariya, India’s only newspaper run by Dalit women. The documentary is directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh, also debutants.

The film follows this ambitious group of Dalit wonder women — led by their chief reporter, Meera — as the team switches from print to digital in order to stay relevant.

Armed with smartphones and the courage and conviction one must be born with, they investigate the incompetence of the local police force, listen to and stand by victims of caste and gender violence, and challenge long-standing, harmful practices that lead to injustice and intimidation Fifteen films have advanced in the documentary feature category for the 94th edition of the Academy Awards. One hundred thirty-eight films were eligible in the category.

Other titles in the list are: “Ascension”, “Attica”, “Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry”, “Faya Dayi”, “The First Wave”, “Flee”, “In the Same Breath”, “Julia”, “President”, “Procession”, “The Rescue”, “Simple as Water”, “Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)”, and “The Velvet Underground”.

The Academy also announced shortlists in eight other categories for the upcoming awards ceremony: documentary short subject, makeup and hairstyling, music (original score), music (original song), animated short film, live action short film, sound and visual effects.

The final nominations will be announced on February 8, with the awards ceremony scheduled to be held on March 27.

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