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National Film Board co-production To Kill a Tiger nominated for Oscar in Documentary Feature Film category

To Kill a Tiger Oscar
Ranjit is a farmer in rural India who seeks justice for his daughter in To Kill a Tiger.

A riveting Canadian film about an Indian father’s quest for justice has been nominated for a  prestigious prize. Nisha Pahuja directed To Kill a Tiger, which is a co-production by Notice Pictures and the National Film Board of Canada. It’s up for the Oscar for Documentary Feature Film.

The other nominees in this category are 20 Days in Mariupol, Bobi Wine: The People’s President, The Eternal Memory, and Four Daughters. The Oscars will be presented in a March 10 ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

In a statement issued by the National Film Board of Canada, Pahuja said that she is “beyond thrilled” by the Oscar nomination.

“This is an extraordinary honour for the creative team behind this eight-year journey, and it’s a testament to the tireless group of women working outside the normal ecosystem to ensure this story is seen and does what it needs to in the world,” Pahua declared. “We’re here, at this moment, because a farmer in India, his wife and their 13-year-old daughter had the courage to demand her human rights.”

“We are grateful to the National Film Board of Canada, our executive producers and everyone on the team for their support,” Pahuja added. “It is our hope and intent that this film will encourage other survivors to seek justice, and that men stand with us in our fight for gender equality.”

To Kill a Tiger was filmed in Jharkhand, a landlocked state in Eastern India.

Nisha Pahuja by Mrinal Desai
Director and writer Nisha Pahuja spent several years working on To Kill a Tiger. Photo by Mrinal Desai.

Celine Song film up for Best Picture Oscar

Last year, Pahuja told Pancouver that in rural villages in this state, a community-based culture has been a means of economic and social survival for centuries. However, this culture was of no help to one family when the eldest daughter was raped at a wedding party.

The daughter is just as insistent as her dad in seeking justice, over the objections of village folks.

Meanwhile, Canadian Celine Song’s romantic debut feature, Past Lives, captured nominations for Best Picture and Original Screenplay.

In a commentary posted on Pancouver last year, University of London senior teaching fellow described Past Lives as a film about the Korean diaspora told from a female perspective.

“The film introduces global audiences to the Korean Buddhist concept of In-Yun—the connection, fate or destiny of two people,” Lee wrote in the piece, which originally appeared on The Conversation website. “Past Lives takes this millennia-old philosophical idea of human relationships and transposes it into the digital age through the young Korean diaspora.”

Celine Song and Greta Lee.
Director Celine Song’s film about the Korean diaspora includes actor Greta Lee (right). Photo by hinnk.

Ryan Gosling and Robbie Robertson nominated

Also nominated for an Oscar was deceased Toronto-born musician Robbie Robertson, who died last year at the age of 80. He was the son of a Cayuga and Mohawk mother. In his youth, he lived on the Six Nations Reserve.

Robertson is up for an Oscar for writing the score for Killers of the Flower Moon. The Martin Scorsese-directed film collected 10 nominations, including for Best Picture.

The most famous Canadian nominated for an Oscar this year is Ryan Gosling, who was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for playing Ken in the hit movie Barbie.

Two other Canadians in the running are Nova Scotia filmmaker Ben Proudfoot and Quebec director Vincent René-Lortie. Proudfoot co-directed “The Last Repair Shop, which is nominated for Documentary Short Film. It’s about a warehouse in Los Angeles where children’s musical instruments are repaired.

René-Lortie is up for an Academy Award in for Live Action Short Film for “Invincible”. It was inspired by a childhood friend didn’t survive after escaping from a juvenile detention centre.

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Charlie Smith

Charlie Smith

Pancouver editor Charlie Smith has worked as a Vancouver journalist in print, radio, and television for more than three decades.

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We would like to acknowledge that we are gathered on the traditional and unceded territories of the Coast Salish peoples of the xʷməθkwəy̓əm (Musqueam), Skwxwú7mesh (Squamish), and Səl̓ílwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations. With this acknowledgement, we thank the Indigenous peoples who still live on and care for this land.