India’s Big Moment at the Oscars 2023: Naatu Naatu, All That Breathes, and The Elephant Whisperers Up for Nominations

India is poised to make its mark on the global stage at the 95th Academy Awards, with several Indian productions earning nominations for the prestigious awards. Naatu Naatu, the hit dance track from RRR, All That Breathes, and The Elephant Whisperers have all been shortlisted for Oscars, marking the first time that India-made productions have earned so many nominations.

Naatu Naatu, composed by MM Keeravani and sung by Rahul Sipligunj-Kaala Bhairava, has been nominated for the Original Song category. Fans are hopeful that the buzz surrounding these productions will translate into an Oscar win, but even if it doesn’t, India will make its presence felt on stage. The live performance of the song at the ceremony will be a true Academy tradition, giving a platform to all five Original Song nominees.

All That Breathes by Shaunak Sen, a climate change documentary that follows the lives of two siblings who have devoted their lives to rescuing and treating injured birds in Delhi, has been nominated for the Documentary Feature category. The Elephant Whisperers, a Netflix documentary that explores the unbreakable bond between an abandoned elephant and their two caretakers, has been nominated for the Documentary Short Subject category.

While India has never won an Oscar in the International Film category or the Best Foreign Film as it was known earlier, Indian documentaries have had success at the Oscars in the past, with Smile Pinki and Period. End Of Sentence winning in the Documentary Short category. The hope is that this year’s nominations will pave the way for more Indian productions to be recognized globally.

The ceremony will be held early Monday morning (India time) at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. Actor Deepika Padukone will present an award at the ceremony, and RRR lead stars Ram Charan and Jr NTR, and director S S Rajamouli will also be in attendance to support their team. The Academy has invited voting members from film communities around the globe, including a number of talented cinema artists from India, and more than 9,000 members have cast their votes for the Oscars.

India's Big Moment at the Oscars 2023
Oscars 2023

Highlights Points

Event Details
Ceremony 95th Academy Awards
Date Early Monday morning (India time) on an unannounced date in 2023
Location Dolby Theatre, Hollywood
India’s Nominations Naatu Naatu (Original Song), All That Breathes (Documentary Feature), The Elephant Whisperers (Documentary Short)
Naatu Naatu Nominations Original Song alongside Tell It Like a Woman, Hold My Hand, Lift Me Up, and This Is a Life
Live Performances Naatu Naatu composer MM Keeravani and singers Rahul Sipligunj-Kaala Bhairava
Presenter Actor Deepika Padukone
Attendees RRR lead stars Ram Charan and Jr NTR, and director S S Rajamouli
All That Breathes Nominations Documentary Feature alongside All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, Fire of Love, A House Made of Splinters and Navalny
The Elephant Whisperers Nominations Documentary Short Subject alongside Haulout, How Do You Measure a Year?, The Martha Mitchell Effect, and Stranger at the Gate
Previous Wins Smile Pinki and Period. End Of Sentence in the Documentary Short category
India’s History No wins in International Film or Best Foreign Film category; Lagaan in 2001 was last Indian film in the final five nominees
Frontrunner Everything Everywhere All At Once, starring Michelle Yeoh
Voting Members More than 9,000 members from film communities around the globe, including India

Overall, the 95th Academy Awards represent a moment of great pride for India, as the country’s film industry receives recognition on the global stage. While the ultimate outcome remains to be seen, the sheer number of nominations is a testament to the talent and creativity of Indian filmmakers, and a sign of the country’s growing influence in the entertainment industry.

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