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Last Updated: Tuesday, 26 September 2006, 07:31 GMT 08:31 UK
Rang De Basanti chosen for Oscars
Aamir Khan in Rang De Basanti
The film has been described by many as 'pop-patriotism'
One of Bollywood's biggest hits this year, Rang De Basanti, has been chosen as India's official entry for Oscars.

Director Rakeysh Om Prakash Mehra's film on new-age patriotism beat a host of other Hindi film hits to qualify.

The selection committee said Rang De Basanti had been chosen because it reflected contemporary Indian reality and had cinematic excellence.

Superstar Aamir Khan starred in the 136-minute film which generated considerable debate in the country.

Rang De Basanti (Colour Me Saffron) tells the story of a young English film-maker who goes to India to make a documentary on the people who fought for India's independence.

Violent climax

The documentary director, played by British actress Alice Patten, recruits five happy-go-lucky college students to play the roles of the freedom fighters, even though they do not identify with the characters.

But during the filming, the students undergo a transformation and rebel against a corrupt political leadership, leading up to a controversial and violent finale.

Some of the other films which were considered for Oscars included Omkara (a gritty adaptation of Shakespeare's Othello) , Lage Raho Munnabhai (Carry on Munnabhai) and Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna (Never Say Goodbye).

In 2001, Aamir Khan's film Lagaan (Land Tax) was sent as India's entry to Oscars and the film had made it to the awards shortlist.

No Indian film has ever won an Oscar and only three Indian films have so far made it to the awards shortlist.

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