India will be deciding between Sherni and Sardar Udham to enter as India’s official entry for the 94th Academy Awards, more popularly known as the Oscars.

The Academy Awards, are the ultimate acknowledgement of one’s skill in the fields of filmmaking. Here is a list of the six Indians who have been at the receiving end of this laurel.

Bhanu Athaiya

Bhanu Athaiya with her Oscar

Athaiya became the first Indian to receive an Academy Award back in 1983 when she received a joint award with British designer John Mollo. It was their impeccable work at the costumes for the three-hour-long Gandhi that got them that award. Many critics were unhappy with the choice, “For what? Wrinkled sheets, burlap sacks and loincloths?” one would write.  “Richard Attenborough was making a complex film and needed someone who knew India inside out,” Athaiya told a British newspaper later in her life, “So much had to be contributed, and I was ready for it.”

The film won a total of six Academy Awards, including the Best Film award and the Best Actor award.

Satyajit Ray

Satyajit Ray with his Oscar

Ray is a name like no other in Indian Cinema’s history. His contributions to film’s current ways made him the perfect candidate for the Honorary Academy Award he received in the year 1992. He was unable to attend in person — bed ridden due to illness — he graciously thanked the academy from his hospital bed via live video feed. He remains the first and only Indian to have received an Honorary Award from the Academy.

A.R. Rahman 

AR Rahman with his Oscars

Rahman was the first to have gotten not one but two Oscars for his exceptional musical talents. At the 2009 Awards, he received two awards for his work in the critically celebrated Slumdog Millionaire. He was bestowed with the Best Original Song for his music, in collaboration with Gulzar who penned the lyrics, and the Best Original Score award. The musical legend quoted the popular Hindi dialogue from Deewar, “Mere pass maa hai,” in his acceptance speech and thanked his mother on stage.



If you find a song particularly soulful in Bollywood, there is a good chance that Gulzar has a hand in it. The ever raw and real Gulzar proved his lyrical mettle again with the iconic Jai Ho for Slumdog Millionaire that got him his 2009 Oscar for, Best Original Song in collaboration with Rahman.

Resul Pookutty

Resul Pookutty with his Oscar

On the list of the exceptional and acknowledged talent behind Slumdog Millionaire, is also the sound designer, sound editor and mixer Resul Pookutty. The of not only Hindi cinema but also of Tamil, Malayalam and Hollywood cinema, along with Richard Peker and Ian Tape Was awarded in the category of Best Sound Mixing in 2009.

Asif Kapadia

Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees with their Oscars

Indo-British filmmaker Asif Kapadia won the Oscar for the Best Documentary Feature for Amy, a poignant examination of singer Amy Winehouse’s life and her tragic death at the age of 27. He was given this award in 2013. “Really, this film is all about Amy, this is all about showing the world who she really was: not her tabloid persona, the beautiful girl, the amazing soul, funny, intelligent, witty, someone special, someone who needed looking after. We just wanted to make a film to show the world who she really was,” Kapadia said while accepting his Oscar trophy. He won alongside Producer James Gay-Rees.

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