The Film Federation of India has chosen Zoya Akhtar’s “Gully Boy” as its entry in the Academy Awards’ international feature film category.

The picture, a coming of age tale about an aspiring rapper in Mumbai’s Dharavi slum premiered at the Berlin film festival in February before opening to a wave of acclaim at home in India.

Starring Bollywood A-listers Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt, the film grossed some $37 million worldwide.

Excel Entertainment produced alongside Tiger Baby Productions.

The selection jury was chaired by veteran actress and filmmaker Aparna Sen (“Sonata”)

India has been submitting to the category formerly known as foreign language film since 1957.

The country has been nominated three times, beginning with its first entry “Mother India” in 1957, followed by “Salaam Bombay” in 1988 and “Lagaan” in 2001. It is yet to win the category.

  • The Oscar Bangladesh Committee has selected Nasiruddin Yousuff’s “Alpha” as its entry. The film centers on an impoverished rickshaw art painter who lives in a shack on stilts in the middle of a polluted lake on the outskirts of Dhaka, and whose work holds up a mirror to the injustices being committed in contemporary Bangladesh. It stars Alamgir Kabir, Doyel Mash and ATM Shamsuzzaman, and is produced by Impress Telefilms. It released in April to considerable acclaim and subsequently played at the SAARC film festival in Colombo in July.