Writing With Fire is first Indian documentary to get Oscar nomination



Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh’s Writing with Fire has been nominated for Best Documentary Feature at the 94th Academy Awards next month, the first Indian documentary to make the final nominations at the Oscars.

The other nominees for Best Documentary Feature award are Jessica Kingdon’s Ascension, Stanley Nelson’s Attica, Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s Flee and Ahmir Thompson aka Questlove’s Summer of Soul.

Rintu Thomas and Ghosh’s award-winning film takes a look at the determined journalists of Khabar Lahariya, India’s only newspaper operated by Dalit women in Uttar Pradesh, who report on issues that affect them and their region despite an acute lack of resources. The duo has also edited and produced the film.

Writing with Fire was premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year. It was also nominated for Outstanding Producer of Documentary Motion Pictures at the 33rd annual Producers Guild Awards, which will be announced Mar 19.

Last year’s Best Actor nominee Riz Ahmed also returns with a nomination for Best Live Action Short Film for The Long Goodbye. Ahmed and director Aneil Karia are nominated in the category.

The short film, which was created as a companion piece to Ahmed’s musical album of the same name, looks at racism and xenophobia in the United Kingdom.

The Academy Awards will be held Mar 27 at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California. The nominees were announced Feb 8 by actors Leslie Jordan and Tracee Ellis Ross in a live-streamed presentation broadcast on the official website of the awards.

Jane Campion’s Netflix Western The Power of the Dog leads the field with 12 nominations, including for Best Picture and Best Director and all the acting awards. Campion has become the first woman to be nominated for Best Director twice at the Oscars. She was earlier nominated for The Piano back in 1994. While she didn’t win the directing award, she won for Best Original Screenplay.

Interestingly, the director to whom she lost in 1994, Steven Spielberg for Schindler’s List, is among the nominees this time as well. Spielberg, 75, has become the first filmmaker to be nominated for Best Director at least once every decade for six decades. He was first nominated for Close Encounters of the Third Kind in 1979, followed by Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1982, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial in 1983, Schindler’s List in 1994, Saving Private Ryan in 1999, Munich in 2006 and Lincoln in 2013. Spielberg won a second time in 1999.