National Award-winning actor Rajkummar Rao- and Pankaj Tripathi-starrer Newton was released on September 22. Along with it, came the jubilant news that the film has been selected as India’s official submission to the 90th Academy Awards in the foreign language category.
Ecstatic, Rao says, “I am thrilled at its selection for the Oscars and overwhelmed with the love we are getting for the film. It is one of the most important films of my career. It won in Berlinale and is getting fantastic response and reviews here in India.”
Directed by Amit V Masurkar, the film tells the story of an upright, honest and rule-abiding government official Newton Kumar, who is sent to conduct a free and fair election in the Maoist-hit Dandakaranya region. The ensuing tussle with the antagonist, Aatma Singh (Tripathi), an egoistic and scheming paramilitary commander, the stoic attitude of Loknath (Raghubir Yadav), and concerns of Malko (Anjali Patil) add to the plot and take this political satire many notches higher.
Masurkar says, “It’s a great honour for us to represent India at the Oscars. We hope this film will bring attention to the need to strengthen democracy in our country.” Newton had a world premiere at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival where it won the International Federation of Art Cinemas award in its Forum segment. It also bagged a jury prize for Best Film at the Hong Kong International Film Festival.
Producer Manish Mundra of Drishyam Films says, “This is the most incredible news of our lives. All our hard work and faith is finally paying off. We cannot thank the Film Federation of India jury enough for recognising and appreciating our efforts.” After stealing the show in Bareilley Ki Barfi, Tripathi and Rao have once again set the screen on fire, this time with their animosity, and proved that together they are a true cinematic treat.
Tripathi reiterates, “It is a big win for content-driven cinema. Winning audience’s appreciation and critics’ applause only prove that the trend is here to stay.” Rao agrees, “The line is blurring between commercial and independent or parallel cinema. The medium doesn’t matter, content is important.”