India chooses ‘Barfi’ for Oscar race

Pic stars Ranbir Kapoor, Priyanka Chopra

LONDON — Helmer Anurag Basu’s Hindi-lingo pic “Barfi” is the Film Federation of India’s entry for consideration in Oscar’s foreign language category.

Starring Bollywood heartthrobs Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra, and introducing Ileana D’Cruz, a popular star of southern Indian cinema, the film is a love triangle between a man who cannot speak or hear, an autistic woman and a fully abled woman. Told in flashback, the film moves between 1972 and the present day.

Pic released on Sept. 14 to near universal critical acclaim and boffo box office.

Produced on a budget of approximately 300 million rupees ($5.6 million) by UTV Motion Pictures, a division of Studios, Disney UTV, the film has collected more than $13 million worldwide so far.

The film has also been selected to play at South Korea’s Busan Film Festival in October.

” ‘Barfi’ is very close to the hearts of all of us at UTV, and it gives us great satisfaction that a film we have developed and nurtured from its inception has met with so much love from audiences and critics worldwide. An added source of pride is that this is the fourth UTV film in the last seven years to have been selected to represent India at the Academy Awards,” said Siddharth Roy Kapur, managing director, Studios, Disney UTV.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will announce the five nominees for best foreign film on Jan. 10. The 85th Academy Awards ceremony takes place Feb. 24.