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'Life of Pi' brings India in focus at Oscars with 11 nods

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Life of Pi brings India in focus at Oscars with 11 nods
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New Delhi: An Indian story has once again claimed spotlight at the Oscars with Ang Lee directed 'Life of Pi' bagging 11 nominations in major categories, including a nod for Carnatic vocalist Bombay Jayashri.

Steven Spielberg's 'Licoln', which is leading in the Oscar nominations with 12 nods, also has an India connect, with the producer being Anil Ambani owned Reliance-DreamWorks.

While David O Russell-directed comedy 'The Silver Linings Playbook' stars Indian actor Anupam Kher in a pivotal role.

After 'Slumdog Millionaire' swept the Oscars in 2009, Lee's film has again brought an Indian story to the fore by garnering second highest nominations at the 85th Academy awards announced Thursday.

The Oscar-winning director chose an entirely Indian cast for 'Pi' depicting Indian culture beautifully in the adventure-drama. He shot the 3D film in places like Munnar and Pondicherry in South India.

Lee made several trips to India and finally chose Delhi student Suraj Sharma to play the lead in the film, over 3000 others. He also cast noted Indian actors - Irrfan Khan, Tabu and Adil Hussain to play key roles in the movie.

Reacting to the film's success at the nominations, Hussain told PTI, "I am overwhelmed and feel privileged to be a part of this great movie as an Indian actor, being a stage actor primarily. I was expecting the film and Lee to be nominated in major categories but 11 nods is really great."

'Pi', adapted from Yann Martel's novel of the same name, is the survival story of an Indian boy lost in the ocean with a Bengal tiger for over 227 days. The film, produced by Fox Star Studios', did very well at the Indian box office, earning 90 crores.

Jayashri is nominated in the Original song category for 'Pi's Lullaby' alongwith the composer Michael Danna.

Congratulating the Carnatic vocalist on her nomination, Oscar-winner A R Rahman tweeted, "Congrats to Bombay Jayashree. First ever Academy Award nomination for a Tamil song."

'Pi' is also leading in Golden Globes with three nominations and BAFTA with 10. So is Reliance-Dreamworks' 'Lincoln', which is being counted as one of the major contenders at the Oscars this year.

'Lincoln', also a major contender at the Golden Globes, is slated to release in India on February 8, 2013.

Kher, who played Oscar-nominee Bradley Cooper's therapist Dr Patel in 'The Silver Linings Playbook', said it was a proud moment for him as actor.

"This is the biggest moment of my life. As an Indian actor I feel rewarded for my 30 years of contribution in cinema. I am glad to have worked with the fabulous cast and crew of Silver Linings Playbook. David O Russell is undoubtedly a brilliant filmmaker and he has proved it again. A major part of me as an actor feels satiated today!," Kher said.

Oscars will take place in Los Angeles on February 24, 2013.

PTI

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