'Peepli Live' is India's Oscar entry

Khan starrer is UTV, actor's fourth nod in last five years

NEW DELHI -- India's Oscar entry this year is “Peepli Live” -- the directorial debut by former TV news journalist Anusha Rizvi -- which takes a satirical look at the growing problem of farmer suicides in rural India and how that inspires a media circus.

Produced by Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan and distributed worldwide by UTV Motion Pictures, “Peepli Live” was the first Indian film to premiere at this year's Sundance before moving on to other festivals including Toronto.

“We are very pleased to see “Peepli Live” as India's Oscar entry. This is the fourth UTV film to go to the Oscars in the last five years," UTVMP CEO Siddharth Roy Kapur said In an interview with THR.

Budgeted at about 80 million rupees ($1.8 million) according to UTV, “Peepli Live” has grossed about 500 million rupees since its release in August.

While no Indian film has ever won the best foreign film statuette, last year UTV's “Harischandra Factory” was India's Oscar entry, while the banner's earlier Oscar hopefuls include “Lagaan," “Rang De Basanti” and “Taare Zameen Par,” with all three of them starring Khan.

Film Federation of India chairperson L Suresh said “Peepli Live” was selected for “its stark portrayal of the state of Indian farmers and the vibrant depiction of the media in our country.”

FFI said it had shortlisted 27 films for this year's Oscar entry which included regional films such as Tamil blockbuster “Angaadi Theru” and Malayalam film “Kutty Srank,” which recently won best film at India's National Film Awards.