Mumbai: Ranbir Kapoor starrer `Barfi!`, a love story of a deaf and mute boy set in the fairy-tale world of 1970s Darjeeling, has been nominated as Indian`s entry to the Oscars next year in the foreign film category.
The film, released only last week, has been directed by Anurag Basu. The story revolves around Barfi, a poor but lovable deaf and mute boy, who lives a happy life despite his disability.
He soon meets and falls in love with a pretty Bengali girl Shruti but heartbreak follows. He then develops a bond with his autistic childhood friend, which is played by Priyanka. The film also marks the debut of Southern star Ileana D`Cruz.
`Barfi!` beat 19 other films to represent India at the Oscars.
"Barfi is the Indian entry to the Oscars. We selected it to represent the country out of 20 films," Supran Sen, Secretory General of Film Federation of India said.
Basu, whose last film `Kites` was a big disappointment at the box office, has been lauded for the sensitive handling of the subject.
Ranbir, who has managed to impress critics and his fans with his acting despite having no dialogues, said he took inspiration to portray the character from Hollywood legend Charlie Chaplin and his grandfather Raj Kapoor.
Priyanka, who is currently out of the country, called the film a "labour of love" "Yay! Congratulations team Barfi! This is such amazing news.
"This film was a labour of love for all of us and to see it receive such amazing success is so gratifying. This has been the toughest character of my life and to see everyone loving Jhilmil is such a dream come true.
"I am thrilled to part of such a wondeful team who made this happen," Priyanka said in an sms message from Los Angeles.
Disney UTV`s managing director Siddharth Roy Kapoor, the producers behind the film, also hailed its selection from India to represent Oscars.
"We are honoured that Barfi has been selected to represent India as it official entry to the Academy Awards 2013. Barfi is very close to the hearts of all of us at UTV and it is gives us great satisfaction that a film we have developed and nurtured since its inception has been met with so much love from audience and critics worldwide,” said Kapoor.
He said an added source of pride is that this is the fourth UTV film in last seven years to have been selected to represent India at the Academy awards.
The earlier selections were `Rang De Basanti` (2006), `Harischandrachi Factory` (2009) and `Peepli Live` (2010)," said Kapoor.
"There were 7 Hindi films like `Kahaani`, `Gangs of Wasseypur Part I and II`, `Gattu`, `Jalpari` and Dirty Picture` among those shortlisted.
"Barfi was selected by the jury of 22 members," said Vinod Lamba of Film Federation of India.