Oscars have always eluded Bollywood films in Best Foreign film category. But it will not be fair to say, films in India are not world class or not deserving enough to win awards.
The Bollywood film industry is rich in it’s own environment. By environment I mean Bollywood is popular among Indians all over the world. India being the largest producers of films has never been lucky at Oscars.
Consider this, India has made 82 submissions, 1 each year of course since 1957. Out of which only 3 have been nominated. And no film as yet have won any Oscars. Now don’t think about Slumdog Millionaire, it is British film. The three nominated films for best Best Foreign Film are –
1. Mother India (1957) directed by Mehboob Khan
2. Salaam Bombay! (1988) directed by Mira Nair
3. Lagaan (2004) directed by Ashutosh Gowariker
The figure is very weak and almost an insult to Indian Cinema. This means since 50 years Bollywood has not come up with one good film that can be referred as the best foreign film ? Which is so not true. There are several reasons for this.
Most importantly, Indian films are unique and in no part of the world you will see similarity. Indian films feature cultural aspects, religious understanding and lifestyle which only Indians can understand. That is why Bollywood can relate to Hollywood but not vice versa.
Secondly, International audience fail to understand Indian values such as why people live in joint families? Why are there no kissing scenes? And why there are songs after every half an hour? Songs and actors dancing in movie is an alien concept to Hollywood. So how can members of Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences understand lyrics of Hindi songs in the movies?
Bollywood film has not got a Oscar because of poor or I should say no understanding of Indian Cinema.