By Phanindra Ivatury
(Indian quiz master Phanindra Ivatury, who now resides in Utrecht in the Netherlands shares with Bernama on Asian entertainment industry's proud achievements at the Oscars on Sunday. For Phanindra, cinematic creativity and excellence transcends boundaries, regions, languages and ethnicities).
UTRECHT (The Netherlands), March 14 (Bernama) -- When “Parasite”, a South Korean comedy thriller film took home a bounty of four leading Academy Awards in the pandemic hit year of 2020, it sent sturdy signals that the Asian entertainment industry is all set to leave its golden footprints on the global stage on a regular basis from now on.
In 2021, while South Korean actress Youn Yuh-Jung kept the Asian spirits high by winning the “Best Supporting Actress” Oscar for “Minari”, Japanese drama film “Drive My Car” won the “Best International Feature Film” in 2022.
Raising the bar high, Asia was shining brilliantly bright again on Sunday, 12th of March at the 2023 Oscars night.
To start with, Michelle Yeoh, a former “Miss World-Malaysia” turned actress scripted history by becoming the first Asian person to win a lead actress Oscar.
A veteran with four decades of acting experience, Michelle initially rose to fame as an actress through Asian action movies and more popular the world over as the quintessential ‘Bond Girl’ from the 1997 James Bond flick “Tommorrow Never Dies”. She won the “Best Actress” Oscar for her performance in the American action comedy-drama film “Everything Everywhere All at Once”.
To quote an extract from her powerful Oscar acceptance speech Michelle said “For all the little boys and girls who look like me watching tonight, this is a beacon of hope and possibilities”.
Minutes before Michelle Yeoh’s Oscar triumph, “Naatu Naatu”, a trailblazing Asian song of 2021 (from the now globally popular Indian Telugu movie ‘RRR’) that set many dance floors ablaze world over with its foot tapping beats and pulsating music, did an ‘incredible double’.
Nominated in the ‘Best Original Song’ category, the prodigious number picked up not just the Oscar but also the Golden Globe in January 2023 heralding a new high for the Asian entertainment and music industry.
Naatu Naatu’s astounding achievement is all the more significant considering the fact that it competed against those songs created by some of the world’s most celebrated musicians like Lady Gaga and Rihanna.
MM Keeravani, the creative genius behind the song predominantly works as a music director in the Indian film industry, often collectively misinterpreted around the world as ‘Bollywood’.
The lyrics for this phenomenal number were penned by lyricist Chandrabose who also shared the Oscar. Keeravani, literally sang his Oscar acceptance speech modifying a 70s hit number ‘Top of the World’ by Carpenters.
Icing on the cake came through the “Best Documentary (Short Subject)” Oscar for 2023 which went to “The Elephant Whisperers” a 41 minute Indian Tamil documentary film directed by Kartiki Gonsalves and produced by Guneet Monga, both Asians of Indian Origin.
“I stand here today to speak of the sacred bond between us and our natural world, for the respect of indigenous communities and empathy towards other living beings we share space with and finally, for co-existence” Gonsalves concluded.
Applying the essence of her speech to a different context the mutual bond building towards one global entertainment platform is leading the way in blurring and almost mitigating national and regional cinema divide across the globe.
Cinematic creativity and excellence transcends boundaries, regions, languages and ethnicities. May there be a day where there wouldn’t be articles written highlighting cinema’s presence and achievements from any particular continent as we share our space to co-exist, prosper and excel on the global entertainment stage equally.
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