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Excerpt: Court, a Marathi film is a courtroom drama which already won a National Film Award in the Best Feature Film category for 2014, is selected as India’s official entry for Oscars which will take place on February 28, 2016.
Chaitanya Tamhane’s directorial debut movie Court was on Wednesday selected as India’s official entry for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 88th Academy Oscar Awards.
The critically acclaimed courtroom drama film was selected from a shortlist of 30 films by the Film Federation of India and a 16-member jury team headed by veteran film-maker Amol Palekar.
The Marathi film was chosen over popular films like S.S. Rajamouli’s Baahubali: The Beginning, Vishal Bhardwaj’s Haider, M. Manikandan’s Kaaka Muttai, and Kabir Khan’s Bajrangi Bhaijaan.
The film which released in India in April, 2015 was premiered at the 71st Venice International Film Festival in September, 2014 where it won the Best Film in the Horizons category and Lion of the Future – Luigi De Laurentiis award for a debut feature film.
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Court is a film which exposes the flaws of the Indian judicial system through the trial of an aging folk singer in a lower court in Mumbai, where the hopes and dreams of the city’s ordinary people play out. The singer was accused of performing an inflammatory song that may have incited a sewage worker to commit suicide in a manhole. The film examines the legal system from the different perspectives, that of the accused, the lawyer defending him, the public prosecutor and the judge presiding over the case.
It also won the Best Feature Film award at the 62nd National Film Awards in 2015. It also won 18 international awards at various film festivals, including honors at the Mumbai, Vienna, Antalya, and Singapore film festivals.
Featuring actors Vivek Gomber, Vira Sathidar, Geetanjali Kulkarni, Pradeep Joshi, Usha Bane and Shirish Pawar, the movie won a large number of awards for its striking narrative style.
Court is the third Marathi film to be selected as India’s entry to the Oscar Awards after Sandeep Sawant’s Shwaas in 2004, and Paresh Mokashi’s Harishchandrachi Factory based on the life of Dadasaheb Phalke in 2009.