Mumbai: The news of "Court" -- a multilingual courtroom drama -- making the cut as India's official entry in the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 88th Academy Awards, left its director Chaitanya Tamhane "genuinely surprised".
Tamhane's debut directorial, "Court" is a National Award-winning film, which has won acclaim across the globe since premiering at the 71st Venice International Film Festival last year.
On Wednesday, actor-filmmaker Amol Palekar, who was heading the 17-member jury appointed by Film Federation of India (FFI) to decide India's representation for the Oscars this year, confirmed to IANS that "Court" is the chosen one.
Tamhane is in a celebratory mood.
"At every juncture of the film's journey, we have felt that it has given us more than we can ever imagine. Once again, this has come as a genuine surprise to both Vivek (actor-producer Vivek Gomber) and me.
"Ever since we started making the film, we kept our expectations low. Specially in this case, since these results tend to be so unpredictable, it just felt like a nice thing to not expect too much.
"Now that it has actually happened, we would like to thank the jury for their decision, and to everyone who has supported the film so far."
"Court" -- about a trial which unfolds in a lower court, where the hopes and dreams of the city's ordinary people play out -- won the National Film Award in the Best Feature Film category for 2014.
Featuring impactful performances by actors Vivek Gomber, Vira Sathidar, Geetanjali Kulkarni, Pradeep Joshi, Usha Bane and Shirish Pawar, the movie did its fair share of rounds at foreign movie galas after premiering at the 71st Venice International Film Festival last year.
Congratulations poured in for the film's team via Twitter.
Bollywood director Anubhav Sinha shared: "Go Mr Tamhane. I hope you get the best marketing resources in the campaign. #Court #Oscars2016", while Hansal Mehta wrote: "So pleased to know that the FFI committee has made its choice for India's entry to Oscars. And for once they've chosen well! #Court."
Actress Tillotama Shome tweeted: "India gets closest it has ever been to winning the Oscar and getting the lady home. #Court all the way baby! What a day", and Shilpa Shukla was also confident that this time the "Oscar (is) coming to the India courtyard".
Last year, "Liar's Dice", a road drama starring Geetanjali Thapa and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in lead roles, was selected as India's official entry to the Best Foreign Film category of Oscars, but it failed to make it to the top five at the Academy Awards.
The 88th Academy Awards ceremony will be held on February 28, next year.