The potential Oscar contenders from India this year in the 'Best Foreign Language' category seem to have gone commercial with a vengeance. Last year, Anurag Kashyap created an ugly hungama over the selection Gyan Correa's Gujarati drama The Good Road instead of Ritesh Batra's The Lunchbox.
This year, the films that are up as contenders as India's official entry to the Oscars include two big Hindi blockbusters, the film adaptation of Chetan Bhagat's 2 States. Sanjay Leela Bhansali's Goliyon Ki Raas Leela Ram Leela. Curiously, two of Hansal Mehta's films Shahid and Citylights are both contenders to represent us at the Oscars.
There is also the one Bengali film, the very powerful Jaatishwar, the bio-pic of the Portuguese poet Hensman Anthony who wrote poetry in Bengali with Prosenjit in a National award winning performance.
A source from the selecting committee said, "The films in race to represent the Oscars are varied and very, very Indian. Any of them could represent India."
However, sources say the most likely contenders are Hansal Mehta's Shahid and Srijit Mukherjee's Jaatishwar.
"These two films contain very strong elements of the Indian ethos. They are Indian in theme and can only be Indian in theme. The three Marathi films are also very strong in terms of theme and performances," say the sources.