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Monday, 25 March, 2002, 15:54 GMT
Indians mourn Oscar miss
Dejected Lagaan actors
Oscar nomination had raised hopes of Bollywood fans
There is disappointment in India after a much hyped Bollywood movie failed to lift an Oscar at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles.

We could not achieve victory but we were very close to the goal and it is a remarkable achievement in itself

Sushma Swaraj Information, Broadcasting Minister

Lagaan was among the five nominations for best foreign language film.

It was the third Indian film to receive a nomination and would have been the first to scoop the prestigious award.

But some Bollywood film makers and fans see a silver lining to the cloud.

They are proud of the nomination and hope the movie will inspire film makers in the country.

New hope

"Certainly we were disappointed", said Lagaan's producer and star, Amir Khan.

Lead actors - Gracy Singh and Amir Khan
Lagaan: A dream run at the box office

"But the thing that really kept us in our spirits was that the entire country was behind us", Mr Khan told the BBC.

Mr Khan said he was content with Lagaan's Oscar nomination. "Indian films will now get world-wide exposure", he said

The film's lyricist, Javed Akhtar, shared his disappointment.

He said there were five films in the category, "but only one had to win and four had to lose."

"Lagaan will now push producers to make good films", Mr Akhtar said.


But some Bollywood enthusiasts criticised the ceremony.

Film maker Mahesh Bhatt said the American film industry was insular and the foreign category awards were given just for the sake of it.

"They invite foreign films to show that they have interest in other films but this is not true", he told the BBC.

Some Bollywood fans said it was time the industry took a fresh look at Indian film making.

"Routine Hindi films with song and dance sequences around the trees should stop now", said Arvind Sharma, a businessman.

''Quality movies must be made so that more Indian films like Lagaan can make it to the top of films in the world'', he said.

A shop owner in Delhi said Lagaan could not win an Oscar "but I feel this film has won it as far as Indians are concerned.''

See also:

13 Feb 02 | Business
Bollywood's hopes for Oscar dollars
26 Jun 01 | Oscars 2002
Lagaan breaks the mould
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