,” india’s contender at Oscar’s foreign-language category, is that rarity, an indie that achieved box office numbers comparable to mid-range mainstream films.
Drishyam Films produced the Hindi-language film, about a rookie poll officer who overcomes the odds to conduct free and fair elections in a remote tribal area, on a budget of 45 million rupees ($692,000). It opened Sept. 22 in India and grossed $4.8 million.
Of the independent films chosen to represent India at the Oscars in the past decade, 2010’s “Peepli (Live)” is the only one to collect similar numbers. That film had a $1.5 million budget and made $6.2 million. However, “Peepli (Live)” had deep-pocketed backers including Aamir Khan Prods. and Disney’s Utv Motion Pictures
. A publicity campaign by Khan, India’s most bankable star, was enough to send audiences in large numbers to the cinemas for fare they might not normally consume in such volume.
2015’s “Court” rode into Indian cinemas on a wave of acclaim