'Bittu' team celebrates 'proud moment' as film advances to next round in Oscars race



Director Karishma Dev Dube on Wednesday said she is "overwhelmed by gratitude" as her film "Bittu" advanced to the next round in Best Live Action Short Film segment of the 93rd Academy Awards.

Earlier in the day, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) unveiled the shortlists for nine categories, including Best Live Action Short Film that received a total of 174 entries.

Based on a true story, "Bittu" is about a close friendship between two girls, eclipsed by an accident at their school.

Dube said it is a proud moment for the whole team that their film has been recognised by the Academy.

"It's every filmmaker's dream to be recognised by the Academy, and I'm overwhelmed by the gratitude. This recognition however is not mine alone, I made this film with an incredible cast and crew, all of whom I'm so grateful for," the director said in a statement.

"I'm just very happy that Bittu can represent this team and my country at this platform," she added.

"Bittu" is presented by Indian Women Rising (IWR), a cinema collective that was recently formed by Ekta Kapoor, Kashyap Khurrana, Guneet Monga and Ruchikaa Kapoor.

In a joint statement, the IWR said the team is "exhilarated, proud and overwhelmed" to witness the film's journey unfold "gracefully."

"Karishma Dev Dube's excellent storytelling compelled us to come on board for the project and now as the world is recognising and appreciating the efforts we are nothing but proud of the film and the entire team that made it possible to achieve this feat. We are all geared up for the next steps that lay ahead of us in this journey and look forward to the continued support we received so far. Truly humbled," the statement read.

Meanwhile, "Jallikattu", India's official entry in the Best International Feature category at the 93rd Academy Awards, is out of the Oscars race.

The Lijo Jose Pellissery-directed movie could not make it to the shortlist of 15 features that will be competing for a spot in the final five.

The 93rd Academy Awards, which were postponed from their usual February date due to the coronavirus pandemic, will be held on April 25. (PTI)


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