Chennai, October 22 - Yogi Babu's acclaimed political satire comedy-drama film "Mandela" is among the 14 films shortlisted for India's entry to the Academy Awards 2022. Yogi Babu, who has become a popular name in Tamil cinema, won praise for his role in the film, which is set on the backdrop of a village panchayat election scenario between two political parties where a local barber's vote will determine the fate of the election.
Apart from Mandela, Vidya Balan starrer "Sherni" has also been named on the list. In the film, directed by Amit V. Masurkar, Vidya plays an upright forest officer battling social barriers set by the patriarchal society and lackadaisical attitudes within her department. The movie was released directly on Amazon Prime Video and was one of the top-rated films on the streamer.
Vicky Kaushal's recently released biographical historical drama, Sardar Udham, will also be battling out to become India's official entry in next year's Oscars. The direct-to-digital release is based on the life of Udham Singh, a revolutionary freedom fighter known for assassinating Michael O'Dwyer in London to avenge the 1919 Jallianwala Bagh massacre in Amritsar. Directed by Shoojit Sircar, Sardar Udham is one of the highest-rated Indian films of 2021 on IMDb.
Among the 14 films, Joju George, Nimisha Sajayan, and Kunchacko Boban's Malayalam film, Nayattu, has also made the cut on the list. Directed by Martin Prakkat, the movie received critical attention at the time for its tightly packed script and great performances of the actors, though there has been some criticism of its take on caste.
The 14 selected films from across industries have reached the jury in Kolkata which contains 15 members. Filmmaker Shaji N Karun is the Chairman of the jury who will select India's final entry to the Academy Awards for the category Best International Film category. Oscars will take place in March 2022 for its 94th edition.