Do we have a solid chance this time of cracking the Oscar code? Amit Masurkar’s Newton has not only been selected as India’s official entry to the Oscars it’s also been granted, overnight as it were, a Rs.1 crore by the Government as, shall we say, Oscar-bound stipend.
Newton’s much-feted lead Rajkummar Rao agrees this is an unusual largesse from the powers-that-be. “It was most unexpected. But certainly needed. I spoke to the relevant official and he assured me of all possible support and cooperation in our journey to the Oscars. We, my director and I, had no idea as to how to proceed to the Oscars. The Government’s fund has opened up doors. Now we just need to walk through those doors.”
The question is, how? “Well,” dwells Raj, “We need to sit down and chalk out a plan. My producers Munish Mundra and Aanand Rai will be meeting up with people who have experience in taking our cinema to the Oscars.”
The extremely busy actor, who has wrapped up yet another challenging role as Subhash Chandra Bose, admits he will have to take time off to be in the US for the very serious process of lobbying that preludes the Oscar nominations in the US. “I understand I have to be in America for a while and I am prepared to take time off. It is pointless to expect Newton to make the cut without our effort. We need to push our film to the furthest point possible.”
Rajkummar is incredibly grateful for this rush-hour in his career. “This is by far the best phase of my career. And it’s all my mother’s blessings. I lost her recently. But I know she’s making all these good things happen for me.”