Zoya Akhtar’s “Gully Boy” has been selected as the official entry from India for the 92nd Academy Awards in the Best International Feature Film category.
The film, starring Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt, is set in the Dharavi slums of Mumbai. It follows the journey of an aspiring rapper Murad Ahmed who is fighting against the odds to follow his dreams. “Gully Boy” was inspired by the lives of Indian street rappers Divine and Naezy.
It was written by Akhtar and Reema Kagti, and produced by Tiger Baby and Excel Entertainment. The film, a box-office success also featured Siddhant Chaturvedi, Kalki Koechlin, Amruta Subhash, Vijay Varma and Vijay Raaz. Gully Boy went on to be the fourth highest-grossing Bollywood film of 2019 and the year’s highest-grossing Bollywood film overseas.
The film’s co-producer Farhan Akhtar took to social media to share the news. “#GullyBoy has been selected as India’s official entry to the 92nd Oscar Awards. #apnatimeaayega Thank you to the film federation and congratulations #Zoya @kagtireema @ritesh_sid @RanveerOfficial @aliaa08 @SiddhantChturvD @kalkikanmani & cast, crew and hip hop crew,” he wrote.
India has been submitting to the category formerly known as foreign language film since 1957.
The country has been nominated three times, beginning with its first entry “Mother India” in 1957, followed by “Salaam Bombay” in 1988 and “Lagan” in 2001. It is yet to win the category.
Last year, Rima Das’ Assamese film “Village Rockstars” was selected as India’s official entry to the 91st Academy Awards, but didn’t make it to the nominations. Alfonso Cuarón’s “Roma” won the award last year.