Kiran Rao’s ‘Dhobi Ghat’ long-listed for Best Foreign Film BAFTA
‘Dhobi Ghat’, Kiran Rao’s beautiful, subtle and sombre homage to the teeming metropolis of Mumbai has been Longlisted in the Best Foreign Language film category of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts awards.
The longlist of 15 films was arrived after the first round of voting by the 6300 members of the Academy from an original list of 285 films, reflecting the sheer number of quality films produced around the world in 2011. The longlist of 15 films will now be further cut down to 5 nominations after the second round of voting by the end of January.
‘Dhobi Ghat’ was the directorial debut of Kiran Rao, the former producing partner and current spouse of Amir Khan who produced and starred in the film. The film tells the story of 4 people from different walks of live and how their lives are closely linked with each other as well as with the eternal city of Mumbai. Despite its’ total departure from the usual Bollywood style and structure and the relatively small scale of its production, the film was a critical as well as commercial success and was warmly received by audiences around the world.
It’s yet another success in the resurgence of Amir Khan, one of Bollywood’s biggest stars and a man who has successfully married commercial success with critical acclaim whilst also garnering widespread respect from within and without the film industry. Khan’s ‘Lagaan’ was just the third Hindi language film to be nominated for an Oscar – for Best Foreign Language Film in 2002 – whilst his subsequent productions ‘Taare Zameen Par’ and ‘Peepli Live’ also because official entries at the Academy Awards of 2009 and 2010 respectively.
Nominations in all BAFTA categories will be unveiled Tuesday 17 January and winners announced at the Orange British Academy Awards on Sunday 12 February.
– Vijitha Alles