New Delhi: Searchlight Pictures, a division of Walt Disney, will release its Oscar-nominated neo-western drama Nomadland in cinemas in India on 2 April, beginning the Academy Award season in the country. Every year, films nominated for the prestigious prize are given limited release in India in the run-up to the big day. Nomadland has earned six nominations at the 93rd Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress. It also received four nominations at the 78th Golden Globe Awards, winning Best Motion Picture – Drama and Best Director.
The Guardian describes the film, starring Frances McDormand and directed by Chloe Zhao, as an “empathic Oscar-tipped feature about a sixty something woman who takes to itinerant van life after the closure of a mine vanishes her livelihood and Nevada town.”
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To be sure, Oscar favourites and niche foreign cinema such as Korean drama Parasite and psychological thriller Joker have had impressive runs in India despite the country’s love for larger-than-life Hollywood spectacles.
The growth in films like Parasite, also the first Korean movie to have received a theatrical release in India, is being driven by rising exposure to global cinema through over-the-top (OTT) platforms, a younger generation of movie goers and newer avenues to watch films, besides smart and innovative marketing techniques employed by foreign studios, media experts say.
“Beyond Hollywood, award-winning foreign language films have also seen a great ride (in India). The Oscar-nominated Lebanese film Capernaum resonated with movie buffs across Chennai, Hyderabad and NCR (national capital region). Similarly, the release of Japanese film Shoplifters achieved over 90% occupancy in its first run itself in cities like Chennai and also 95% occupancy in markets such as Ahmedabad and Chandigarh that otherwise witness an occupancy of 60-70% over weekends, thus resulting in three times the usual occupancy for films of this genre,” Vaibhav Lal, co-founder and chief executive officer, Vkaao, PVR Cinemas, an online platform to pick and choose screening sessions, had said in an earlier interview to Mint.