The nation’s first meeting with Academy Awards, commonly known as Oscars, kick-started in 1957, when Mehboob Khan’s Mother India was officially nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film category.
Although no Indian film received an Academy Award, some people made India proud. Few Indians have taken home the Oscar trophy, from costume designer Bhanu Athaiya to music composer A.R. Rahman.
The following is a list of five Indians who have received Academy Awards.
Bhanu Athaiya, a well-known costume designer, earned India’s first Academy Award for the 1982 play “Gandhi.” The designer collaborated for Guru Dutt, Yash Chopra, Raj Kapoor, B.R. Chopra, Vijay Anand, Raj Khosla, and Ashutosh Gowariker, among many others, in over 100 films.
Satyajit Ray, a groundbreaking filmmaker, created several classics in Indian cinema that are still cited as research papers in film schools. In both Indian and Bengali cinema, the famous filmmaker made waves. His debut film, Pather Panchali, received several national and international prizes, including the Cannes Film Festival’s Best Human Document award in 1955.
Ray received an Honorary Award for Lifetime Achievement from the Academy of Feature Film Arts and Sciences in 1992. Due to his inability to attend the ceremony because of hospitalization, the filmmaker made his concession speech via live broadcast.
Slumdog Millionaire’s popularity helped Indian talent get international attention. While the film won the Academy Award for Best Picture, sound engineer Resul Pookutty won Best Sound Mixing at the 81st Academy Awards. Along with Ian Tapp and Richard Pryke, he received the prize.
“I devote this award to my country. This isn’t only a sound award rather a piece of history that has been given over to me. I come from a country and civilisation that gave the world the word that goes before quietness and is trailed by more quiet. That word is Om. So I would like to devote this award to my country,” said he after receiving the award.
Slumdog Millionaire, directed by Danny Boyle, won a number of prizes at the 81st Academy Awards. A.R. Rahman, a music composer, was the first Indian to be nominated for an Academy Award for his score in a British-Indian film in a long time.
The maestro created history when he won two awards: one for the first score and another for the song Jai Ho. “Prior to coming here, I was energised and frightened,” he remarked during his appreciation speech.
Gulzar, a well-known lyricist who won an Oscar for Best Original Song, wrote the song “Jai Ho,” which caused a worldwide sensation and earned A.R.Rahman his second Oscar.