Three films from India have been nominated in their respective categories for the 2023 Oscars, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced Tuesday. S.S. Rajamouli’s RRR secured a spot amongst the Best Original Song of the year, thanks to its energetic dance track ‘Naatu Naatu’. Meanwhile, the Pan Nalin-directed Chhello Show — India’s official selection for the Oscars — didn’t make the cut for Best International feature. Even Park Chan-wook’s subtly erotic mystery film Decision to Leave was objectively snubbed in the category. The 95th Academy Awards are scheduled to take place on March 12.
As mentioned, Indian productions claimed two other nominations in the documentary segments. The first is All That Breathes, a New Delhi-set documentary from Shaunak Sen, following two brothers who have dedicated their lives to treating injured birds amidst the degrading air pollution levels in the region. It was among the top 15 films to make it to the Academy’s shortlist, after surviving fierce competition against 143 others. Despite that, All That Breathes hasn’t secured an India release yet. It has been nominated in the Best Documentary Feature category, among the likes of Navalny — a story that explores Russian opposition Alexei Navalny’s near-death experience with an assassination attempt and beyond.
Kartiki Gonsalves’ The Elephant Whisperers also earned a nod for Best Documentary Short Film. In it, we trace the daily lives of an elderly couple who have devoted their lives to caring for a baby elephant, eventually forming a familial bond. The 41-minute-long documentary is out now on Netflix.
Here is the complete 2023 Oscar nominee list for Original Song, Documentary Feature, and Documentary Short Film:
2023 Oscars Original Song nominees
“Applause,” Tell It Like a Woman — Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
“Hold My Hand,” Top Gun: Maverick — Music and Lyric by Lady Gaga and BloodPop
“Lift Me Up,” Black Panther: Wakanda Forever — Music by Tems, Rihanna, Ryan Coogler and Ludwig Goransson; Lyric by Tems and Ryan Coogler
“Naatu Naatu,” RRR — Music by M.M. Keeravaani; Lyric by Chandrabose
“This Is a Life,” Everything Everywhere All at Once — Music by Ryan Lott, David Byrne and Mitski; Lyric by Ryan Lott and David Byrne
2023 Oscars Documentary Feature Film nominees
2023 Oscars Documentary Short nominees
The Elephant Whisperers, Kartiki Gonsalves
Haulout, Evgenia Arbugaeva and Maxim Arbugaev
How Do You Measure a Year?, Jay Rosenblatt
The Martha Mitchell Effect, Anne Alvergue
Stranger at the Gate, Joshua Seftel