CHENNAI: Director PS Vinothraj’s Tamil feature Koozhangal (Pebbles) is India’s official entry in the International Feature Film category at the 94th Academy Awards. The announcement was made today by Shaji N Karun, the chairperson of the 15-member selection committee. The body is set up by the Film Federation of India to choose the film that will best represent Indian cinema at the Oscars. The Academy Awards for 2021 will be held on March 27, 2022, in Los Angeles.
Vinothraj’s outstanding debut feature won the prestigious Tiger Award at the International Film Festival Rotterdam earlier this year. The film follows a father and his son as they make their way to their mother’s house.
An elated Vinothraj told us that he never knew that his film had the potential to scale such heights. “Our aim was to make a simple, yet honest film, and take it to our people. We wanted to use the film festival run as an entry to the commercial theatres in the State. I did not imagine that Koozhangal would receive so much love.”
He added that such international recognition has given meaning to his 12 year-long wait to become a director. “I spent all those years with the dream of making one good film. My family has been of great support during this period. We shot the film on a very small scale, almost like it were a short film. So, news that our film has been shortlisted for the Oscars has pleasantly surprised everyone.”
Fourteen films were shortlisted for consideration by the committee this year, including Amit Masurkar’s human-animal conflict drama, Sherni, Shoojit Sircar’s biopic Sardar Udham, the Yogi Babu-led Tamil political satire Mandela, and Martin Prakkat’s Malayalam film, Nayattu.
Koozhangal is backed by filmmaker Vignesh Shivan, through his Rowdy Pictures. The film has background score by Yuvan Shankar Raja, and is expected to have a limited theatre release by the end of this year.