The documentary "Writing with Fire" is based upon the fearless journalism of women belonging to the dalit community and their transition to an all digital platform from print. It is directed by Delhi-based filmmakers Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh.
The movie has made it to the final-five list to compete for the 94th Academy Award in the Best Documentary Feature category.
‘Writing with Fire’ is perhaps the first all-India independent production to make it to the final nomination in this category. In December, it had made it to the Oscars shortlist — among 15 films from a pool of 138.
After the venue was shifted online last year in view of Covid-19, the Academy Award ceremony will return to its long-time home at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theatre on March 27.
Ghosh was quoted saying, “We are beyond delighted. This is a massive moment for us and for Indian cinema. This is the first time an Indian documentary has been nominated for an Academy Award, so it has made history. This film is about fearless Dalit women journalists who are redefining what being powerful means, quintessentially the story of the modern Indian woman.”
The documentary features the journey of the Indian newspaper 'Khabar Lahariya',
The other four finalists in the category are Chinese-American Jessica Kingdon’s film ‘Ascension’ on the Chinese Dream; Traci A Curry and Stanley Nelson’s ‘Attica’ about the 1971 uprising at Attica prison in New York State; Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s Danish animated Afghan refugee story ‘Flee’; and Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s ‘Summer of the Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised)’ on the 1969 Harlem cultural festival.
The documentary film, whose journey began six years ago, spotlights the Dalit women-run newspaper in Bundelkhand, ‘Khabar Lahariya’, mapping its print-to-digital transition, has been making headlines since it won the Special Jury (Impact for Change) and Audience awards at the Sundance Film Festival in January last year. It has bagged 28 international awards since.