Oscar contention is a feather in Kantara’s crown

The Kannada blockbuster has made it to the Reminder List of Productions eligible for the 95th Academy Awards. Director Rishab Shetty on the global recognition...

Published: 11th January 2023 10:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th January 2023 10:38 AM   |  A+A-

Actor-filmmaker Rishab Shetty

Actor-filmmaker Rishab Shetty

Express News Service

Kantara has been riding a wave of success since its release in September. The film, which became a pan-India phenomenon, recently completed 100 days in theatres, and has now reached new heights. Backed by producer Vijay Kiragandur, and directed by Rishab Shetty, who also played the lead, Kantara made it to the Reminder List of Productions eligible for the 95th Academy Awards.

Kantara also made a mark in the list of performers eligible for consideration in the acting categories by receiving nods for Rishab, Kishore, Achyut Kumar, Manasi Sudhir, and Sapthami Gowda. Kantara is one of the Indian movies on this list, which has 301 movies.

The final nominations for the 2023 Oscars will be announced on January 24. The statement shared by Hombale Films, Rishab, and the team read, “We are overjoyed to share that ‘Kantara’ has received 2 Oscar qualifications! A heartfelt thank you to all who have supported us. We look forward to sharing this journey ahead with all of your support.

Can’t wait to see it shine at the Oscars.” Speaking to CE, Rishab reiterates the sentiment he first shared in the press meet of his debut directorial. “Expectation and excitement have never been there. We are happy. It is the entire team’s effort. It is the people, who took Kantara to another level, and they have already given us awards. They gave us a throne, and this nomination is just a feather on it.

The official selection in the Best Cinema and Best actor categories is what makes it special. But we can’t get carried away with awards, nominations, or when a cinema becomes a hit. As long as you bear the burden of success on your shoulder, you can’t get on to the next film. In my opinion, these awards should be considered a responsibility, just like the commercial success of a film. If some cinemas don’t work in theatres, we should look at making them better the next time.

Likewise, when a film becomes a hit, we only tend to work towards giving better entertainment,” he says. Talking about the expectations after Kantara’s success, Rishab says, “I wanted to break from the success of the Kirk Party, I did Sa.Hi. Pra Shale and people reciprocated it. At that time, I was more focused on direction. Then with Bell Bottom, I played a full-fledged character, and it was accepted well. Kantara was a different experience. In any film I work on, I look at it from the audience’s perspective.

The final response to a film cannot be gauged till it releases.” Delving into the hype surrounding the Oscars, Rishab says, “I’m basically not a person behind awards. Yes, Oscars is a global recognition. Oscars remind me of Jai Ho, Joker, Parasite, and many such films. I particularly enjoy watching films that are either nominated or take home the Oscars. I am interested in how such films work, the content, and what makes them get this recognition. It is more like study material to us,” says Rishab. We did ask him about Kantara 2, but he signs off with a chuckle keeping us in mystery about his next project.


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