Indian Documentary 'Writing With Fire' Shortlisted for Oscars 2022
11:49 GMT 22.12.2021 (Updated: 10:41 GMT 19.07.2022)
The nominations being voted on for the 94th Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, will begin on 27 January 2022 and the results will be announced on 8 February. The Oscars will be held on 27 March in Los Angeles.
The Indian documentary "Writing with Fire" has been shortlisted as the country's official entry for the 94th Academy Awards.
Directed by Delhi-based documentary filmmakers Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh, the movie chronicles the rise of "Khabar Lahariya", which started as a social experiment by an NGO and became India's only newspaper run by Dalit women in 2002, published across Uttar Pradesh and Bihar states.
In the film's trailer, a group of Dalit women working as journalists can be seen switching from reporting for print to digital, and being trained to do so.
Armed with smartphones and unwavering grit, the film’s protagonist and chief reporter Meera Devi along with other journalists take on India’s biggest issues and question the notions of the patriarchy while bringing up stories of victims of caste and gender violence.
Director Rintu Thomas took to Twitter on Wednesday and said, “What a moment for the Indian documentary community. We are richer with the stories we choose to tell”.
As Dalits continue to be lynched in India for many reasons and under the smallest of pretexts, this film, Thomas says, "is a need of the hour, a tiny drop, in the fire of injustice meted out in a caste-based society, where the voices of the Dalits — underprivileged and disadvantaged — and even more that of the Dalit women are silenced, erased, or not given the space and scope".
"Writing with Fire" has been shortlisted among 15 films, selected from a pool of 138 movies, in the Documentary Feature category of the 94th Academy Awards.
The other films in this category include Ascension, Procession, Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised), and The Velvet Underground, among others.
The documentary bagged the Special Jury (Impact for Change) and Audience awards at the World Cinema Documentary competition at the Sundance Film Festival 2021.
Since then, the documentary has won 28 other awards at various international film festivals, including the US' San Francisco Film Festival, BlackStar Film Festival, and Telluride Mountainfilm Festival, Indo-German Filmweek, Japan’s Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival, France’s International Human Rights Film Festival, Spain’s Valladolid International Film Festival, Norway’s Nordic Docs, and IDFA Amsterdam.