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India Sends Festival Favorite ‘Court’ to the Oscars

Debutant filmmaker Chaitanya Tamhane’s “Court” will be India’s contender in the foreign-language film category at the 88th Academy Awards.

The Film Federation of India made the announcement on Wednesday. The federation said that it had considered more than 30 entries.

Court” follows an aging folk singer accused of abetting a suicide and his subsequent trial. Vivek Gomber produced for Zoo Entertainment.

The film has won a raft of awards around the world beginning with its bow in Venice in 2014 where it won the Luigi De Laurentiis Award, the Venice Horizons Award. It won the Fipresci Prize at Austria’s Viennale. At the Singapore Intl. Film Festival it won the Asian director and Asian Film trophies. The film has also won awards at Hong Kong, Minsk, Dublin and Buenos Aires.

In India, “Court,” which uses Marathi, Gujarati, English and Hindi languages, won best film at the country’s National Awards and it won best film and director prizes at the Mumbai Film Festival.

India has never won a foreign-language film Oscar, but has been nominated three times for “Mother India,” “Salaam Bombay” and “Lagaan.”

The Academy’s deadline to accept foreign-language films is Oct. 1. The nominations will be announced Jan. 14 after the foreign-language films have been shortlisted to nine entries. The Oscars will take place Feb. 28 at the Dolby Theatre.

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