A still from 'Koozhangal'
A still from 'Koozhangal' Image Credit: IFFR 2021

South Indian film ‘Koozhangal’, directed by PS Vinothraj, is India’s official entry to the 2022 Academy Awards. The film beat 14 other contenders including Shoojit Sircar’s celebrated Hindi-language feature ‘Uddham Singh’ and Vidya Balan’s ‘Sherni’.

‘Koozhangal’ which means pebbles is a tale of an alcoholic father and his violent, troubled relationship with his young son and his estranged wife. It’s set against a bleak background of a drought-hit village in rural Tamil Nadu.

Producer Vignesh took to Twitter to confirm the news. “There’s a chance to hear this! “And the Oscars goes to...” Two steps away from a dream come true moment in our lives... Can’t be prouder, happier and content,” tweeted Vignesh,

The movie also produced by South Indian superstar Nayanthara and has already been around the film festival circuit, receiving glowing reviews along with several prestigious accolades, including the Tiger Award, the top honour at the 50th edition of the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2021.

Nayanthara Image Credit: GN Archives

This is director Vinothraj’s first feature and is reportedly inspired from his sister’s life in which she was thrown out of her home by her drunken husband.

Earlier, India’s submissions to the Oscars include Lijo Jose Pellissery’s ‘Jallikattu’ and Zoya Akhtar’s ‘Gully Boy’. Until now, no Indian film has won an Oscar although films such as Ashutosh Gowariker’s ‘Lagaan’ (2001), ‘Mother India’ (1958) and ‘Salaam Bombay’ (1989) made it to the final list of nominations in the Best International Feature category at the Oscars.

a scene from Jallikattu-1571232921646
A scene from 'Jallikattu'

Most reviews peg ‘Koozhangal’ as a brilliant, fuss-free film that leaves a deep impact among its viewers.

The Oscars ceremony will be held on March 27 in Los Angeles next year.