Mumbai: Malayalam filmmaker Jayaraj Nair’s magnum opus Veeram, starring Bollywood actor Kunal Kapoor in the lead, has joined the Oscar race in the original song category. The film’s song ‘We Will Rise’ has made it to the list of 91 other songs eligible for the coveted Academy Awards. AR Rahman’s Ginga from Pele: Birth of a Legend has also made it to the list.
Talking to the media, Jayaraj noted it was the first time a song from an Indian film has been named among the best songs eligible for the Oscars. Veeram is a trilingual film, produced in Malayalam, English and Hindi. Reacting to the news, Kunal Kapoor took to Twitter, “So happy to share this. The first time an Indian film has made it to the long list for best song :).”
We Will Rise is composed by Hollywood musician Jeff Rona, who has also co-written the lyrics and sung it along with Kari Kimmel. The music composer said he was surprised to have a song on the Oscar list. “I surprisingly have a song on the list, which I co-wrote with the amazing @karikimmel !” Jeff tweeted. “Just being eligible is nice (it’s NOT a nomination!), but it’s a big thing in India!”
We Will Rise and Ginga is now just two steps away from lifting the Oscars. The final list of nominees will be announced on January 26 for the presentation event that will take place on February 26. The news comes on the heels of Tamil film Visaranai failing to make it to the final list of nominees for the best foreign-language film. Veeram, directed by National Award winner Jayaraj, has been made at a whopping cost of Rs 35 crore, the costliest movie ever made in Malayalam.
Besides, Hollywood musician Jeff Rona, the film has some of the internationally renowned technicians, including stunt choreographer Allan Poppleton, who has worked on films such as 300, Hunger Games and Avatar, and award-winning make-up artist Trefor Proud.
Veeram is the big screen adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth and it is set in 13th century Kerala. The film resuscitates the real life character made famous through folklore, literature and songs. It revolves around the life of warrior Chandu Chekavar and his quest for power. Chekavars were legendary warriors in Kerala who would often fight battles for the noblemen in the ancient kingdom.