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Oscars 2022: ‘Writing with Fire’ Makes Documentary Feature Shortlist; ‘Koozhangal’ & ‘Sonsi’ Out of the Race

Writing with Fire, the Indian documentary that won two awards at the 2021 Sundance Film Festival, has made the shortlist for the 2022 Oscars in the Documentary Feature category.


The Academy, on Tuesday, announced the shortlists for the 94th Academy Awards in 10 categories: Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject, International Feature Film, Makeup and Hairstyling, Music (Original Score), Music (Original Song), Animated Short Film, Live Action Short Film, Sound, and Visual Effects.

The Tamil film Koozhangal (Pebbles), directed by Vinothraj PS, which was India’s official entry in the International Feature Film category, failed to make the cut. Likewise, Savita Singh’s Sonsi, which had qualified in the Live Action Short Film category, is not on the shortlist.

This makes Writing with Fire, written, directed, and produced by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh, the only Indian contender at the Oscars this year. The documentary revolves around a team of reporters who launch India’s sole Dalit women-run newspaper in a media landscape dominated by men. Chief reporter Meera and her team break tradition to redefine what it means to be powerful, on the news frontlines and in their own homes.

It is among the top 15 films in the category, having competed with a total of 137 films.

Earlier this year, Writing with Fire won the Audience Award and the Special Jury Award in the World Cinema Documentary category at Sundance. The film has won multiple other awards, including the Silver Horn for Film on Social Issues at the Krakow Film Festival and the Special Jury Prize in the Documentary Competition category at the Seattle International Film Festival.

Meanwhile, shortlisted films in the International Feature Film category at the 2022 Oscars include festival favourites such as Flee (Denmark), A Hero (Iran), The Hand of God (Italy), Drive My Car (Japan), The Worst Person in the World (Norway), and The Good Boss (Spain). Bhutan’s Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom, the country’s first successful submission in 23 years, also made the shortlist. The Pawo Choyning Dorji directorial is only Bhutan’s second Oscar submission since The Cup in 1999.


Big-banner films like Dune, No Time to Die, The Matrix Resurrections, and Godzilla vs Kong made the cut in the Visual Effects category. Disney-owned Marvel saw all of its 2021 releases, namely Black Widow, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Eternals, and the recent Spider-Man: No Way Home, finding a place in the same shortlist.

Nominations voting will begin on January 27 and end on February 1, according to the Academy.

The nominees will be announced on February 8, and the 94th edition of the Oscars will be held on March 27.