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Aamir's Oscar plans for Rang De Basanti
Priyanka Jain | September 27, 2006 16:24 IST
Aamir Khan is not new to the Oscar race. He has been there before when his home production Lagaan was nominated for the 2002 Academt Awards.
Now, his film Rang De Basanti has been selected as India's entry to the Oscars, and the race has begun once again.
"Our main aim is to promote the movie as effectively as possible," Aamir says. "If it being my second visit to the Oscars generates curiosity in people, it is ultimately good and beneficial for the movie. I will definitely use all my contacts and advise the director and producer at all times."
The nominations in the Best Foreign Film category will be announced on January 23, 2007, and producer UTV head honcho Ronnie Screwvala has little time to waste.
"It's too early for us to elaborate on the Oscar plan," he says. "From an Indian perspective, it has been a landmark year where a lot of movies and directors have broken the mould and made spectacular cinema. It's a bigger complement to the audience as for the first time, they have proved that they are open to new genres. At the end of that, one movie had to be short-listed. We are happy that it's ours. The jury in India has done its job and the onus is on us now to take it to the next level. Our focus is to give it more than our best shot, pull out all the stops and commit whatever resources it takes to make it happen."
He continues, "Our job is to see that all 500 people, who constitute the jury in the foreign language film category actually watch the film. It's important that we go out and position the film very well. We will communicate to the jury the effect the film has had in its home country and the markets worldwide where it was shown."
Screwvala also hopes to change the perception that Hindi movies are very long, with a lot of songs.
"Besides, since Aamir has been there four years ago, there is a familiarity about him. We will announce that the actor in Lagaan, which got nominated in 2002, is back," he says.
He plans to draw resources and expertise from his partners 20th Century Fox and Disney. His offices in Los Angeles and New York are also working on a strategic plan.
The budget for promoting the film for the Oscar race has not been decided upon yet.
Screwvala claims that he has no plans for lobbying his film abroad. "Lobbying implies that you go to each person and ask him or her to vote for you," he says. "If you lobby, you get disqualified. So we have no plans for that. Our job is to see that the maximum people come, watch the movie and then decide."
Rang De Basanti has been screened in various universities in India and abroad, with about 7,000 students and more. Screwvala claims that students abroad have instantly bonded with the film's theme because the issue is universal in many ways.
Music composer A R Rahman has performed in number of concerts across the East Coast of US promoting Rang De Basanti.
If Rang De Basanti gets nominated, director Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra, Aamir Khan and Screwvala will go to Los Angeles for the Oscar Awards ceremony.