‘Barfi’ is India’s Oscar entry

MUMBAI: Anurag Basu’s “Barfi!”, a Bollywood love story about a deaf-and-mute man and his autistic friend has been chosen as India’s entry to the Academy Awards in the best foreign language film category, the Film Federation of India (FFI) said on Saturday.

“Barfi!” opened to rave reviews in September despite its unusual theme in an industry dominated by soppy romances or family dramas. Critics praised performances by the film’s lead actors Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra.

“Usually films about handicaps are heavy, but we felt Barfi was very lively,” L. Suresh, a member of the jury and former FFI president, told Reuters. “It doesn’t make you sad at all.”

Twenty films were in the running for the coveted nomination and “Barfi!” was chosen out of the five films that made the shortlist.

“It gives us great satisfaction that a film we have developed and nurtured from its inception has met with so much love from audiences and critics worldwide,” Siddharth Roy Kapur, Managing Director at Studios Disney UTV, said in a press release.

An Indian film has never won the Best Foreign Language film Oscar but “Lagaan”, “Salaam Bombay” and “Mother India” were shortlisted for the award. -AGENCIES