India's Oscar nominee Newton in Dubai

Indias Oscar nominee Newton in Dubai
Rajkummar Rao as Newton

Published: Mon 8 Jan 2018, 4:08 PM

Last updated: Sun 28 Jan 2018, 1:39 PM

WITH ONLY FIVE Oscar wins in The Academy Awards' 88-year history (and three of those were in 2009 for Slumdog Millionaire's music), Indian cinema's impact on the international trophy circuit has perhaps not been as prolific as its colossal picture output. Though, we could unexpectedly be in for number six this year, as the quirky political comedy Newton, currently doing the rounds, is garnering sufficient buzz to push it into contention.
India's nomination for the Oscars, Newton is on in Dubai from this weekend and we recommend a visit to see for yourself why filmmaker Amit V. Masurkar may be up on that LA stage in March proffering thanks to, among others, co-writer Mayank Tewari.
Newton is Masurkar's second feature, which centres on Newton Kumar (Rajkummar Rao), a rookie government clerk sent on election duty to the conflict-ridden jungles of Chhattisgarth. Against formidable odds - including guerrilla attacks, ambivalent security forces and the visit of a foreign reporter, Newton tries his best to conduct a fair voting process in the region.
The Hindi comedy (with English subtitles) has received glowing reviews since its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival where it won the CICAE Award and achieved subsequent nominations and wins in global festivals including Tribeca, Hong Kong and Edinburgh. Many of the plaudits have gone to Rao's embodiment of the protagonist, playing him with innocence and intelligence, which has led to more than a few standing ovations in screenings. In December, Newton won Best Actor and Best Screenplay awards at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, along with Best Actor and Best Film awards at India's peer-reviewed Star Screen Awards. Rounding out the film's cast are Anjali Patil and Pankaj Tripathi.
Newton is exclusively on in the UAE at DIFF365@VOX, The Dubai International Film Festival's dedicated theatre at VOX Cinemas, Mall of the Emirates. It kicks off on January 11.

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