The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) recently released a Reminder List of productions eligible for the 95th Academy Awards. The list consists of 301 films which include Indian films like RRR, Kantara, The Kashmir Files, Gangubai Kathiawadi, Me Vasantrao, Tujhya Sathi Kahi Hi, Rocketry: The Nambi Effect, The Last Film Show, Vikrant Rona and Iravin Nizhal, among others. Soon after the list was released, The Kashmir Files director Vivek Agnihotri took to Twitter to announce that his film had been 'shortlisted' for Oscars 2023, in 'the first list of The Academy'. He also stated that The Kashmir Files was one of the 5 Indian films that had been named on the list. (Archive) In a subsequent tweet, he said that actors Pallavi Joshi, Mithun Chakraborty, Anupam Kher and Darshan Kumar had also been 'shortlisted' in the best actor category. (Archive) Actor Anupam Kher also tweeted to announce that the film The Kashmir Files and he himself had been shortlisted for the Oscars 2023. He added that 'even a short list' was a big triumph for them. (Archive) Actor Darshan Kumar, who also stars in The Kashmir Files, took to Twitter to say that he felt 'truly blessed to be shortlisted' in the Best Actor category for the Oscars 2023. (Archive) In an article headlined 'Mithun Chakraborty breaks his silence about critiques calling 'The Kashmir Files' 'vulgar' and a 'propaganda' as the film gets shortlisted at Oscars 2023', the Economic Times quoted Chakraborty as saying "It feels great that Kashmir files have been shortlisted . It’s an answer to all the critiques. The jury who called the movie vulgar and propaganda have gotten the answer today. The people have liked the mov(i)e and that’s the response". (Archive) Media outlet Republic reported that The Kashmir Files had been shortlisted for the Oscars 2023 in the first list of Academy Awards. According to their reportage, The Kashmir Files is one of the five films that have been shortlisted from India as official entries into the Oscars 2023. They cited this claim to director Vivek Agnihotri. A reporter also says on air that the 44-pages list which was released includes the names of the movies that have 'been selected for the 95th Academy Awards'. The reporter adds that the inclusion of this film in the list is a big blow to the lobby which alleged that the film catered only to a certain section of society.  (Archive) India Today also tweeted "#TheKashmirFiles gets shortlisted for #Oscars2023. Director #VivekAgnihotri says 'it’s just the beginning'". (Archive) Times Now tweeted a clip of an interview with Anupam Kher 'after 'The Kashmir Files' was shortlisted for Oscars'. Kher says that shortlisting does not mean being nominated but shortlisting is the first step which needs to be celebrated. According to him, the fact that the film got shortlisted, despite the opposition, is a big victory. (Archive) Other media outlets including Mirror Now, Zee News English, All India Radio News, Times Now Bharat, Mojo Story and Filmi Beat also tweeted that The Kashmir Files had been shortlisted for the Oscars 2023. [gallery type="slideshow" size="full" ids="142979,142980,142981,142982,142983,142984"] Wion reported that the Kannada film Kantara has also been shortlisted in the Best Picture and Best Actor categories. (Archive)

Fact Check

The first thing to note here is that the list released by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) is titled REMINDER LIST OF PRODUCTIONS ELIGIBLE FOR THE 95TH ACADEMY AWARDS. The word 'shortlist' has not been mentioned anywhere on the list consisting of 44 pages. Secondly, the 95th Oscars Shortlists had been announced for 10 Categories on December 21, 2022. These are: According to the official website, who features in each of these shortlists is decided by a committee setup for that purpose (known as a branch), except for the International Feature Film category. The shortlist for this category is determined by Academy members from all branches who are invited to participate in the preliminary round of voting. They need to meet a minimum viewing requirement to be eligible to vote. According to the already published shortlist, 15 entries have been selected for each of the following categories: And 10 entries have been shortlisted for each of the following: It must be noted that Kashmir Files has not found a place in any of the shortlists for the 10 categories. Moreover, the awards for Best Actor and Best Actress do not have shortlists. Hence, contrary to claims made by the makers of The Kashmir Files, there is no question of Anupam Kher or Pallavi Joshi being shortlisted for them. The claims made by Wion and other media outlets regarding the film Kantara are false as well. This film, too, does not feature on the shortlists. Among Indian entries, the Gujarati film Chhello Show (The Last Show) is India’s official entry to the International Feature film category. The track ‘Naatu Naatu’ from SS Rajamouli’s RRR has been shortlisted in the Best Original Song Category and two Indian films, All That Breathes and The Elephant Whisperers, have been shortlisted in the Documentary Feature Film and Documentary Short Film categories respectively.

Reminder List VS Shortlist

Responding to a mail sent by Alt News, Michael Benedict, senior manager, member relations, global outreach and awards Administration, told us that the Reminder List is a list of all of the eligible films that have entered for General Entry (Best Picture and the craft categories). On the other hand, the shortlist is a list of films that advanced to the next round in specific categories. The awards are given in total 24 categories. Not all of  them have a shortlist. According to The Academy's website, some of the eligibility criteria required for consideration under rules implemented for the 95th Academy Awards year are: The entire set of rules can be found here. We spoke to Aseem Chhabra, festival director of the New York Indian Film Festival, who reiterated that a reminder list is not the same as a shortlist. A reminder list is a list of all the films that have qualified for the Oscars. There are 301 films that have met the eligibility criteria this time. This is the protocol that is followed every year. Many Indian films like Kashmir Files and Gangubai Kathiawadi that are released in the US qualify. It doesn't depend on the quality of the film. Chhabra further clarified that every year around December 21, The Academy releases the shortlist for the 10 categories. But categories like Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, etc do not have a shortlist. The members of the Academy then vote for the nominations for all of the categories, including the ones that do not have a shortlist. The nominations for each category consist of five entries except for the Best Picture category which may include up to 10 entries. Films like Gangubai Kathiawadi and Kashmir Files are part of the 301 films in the reminder list, and hence they are eligible for the categories of Best Picture, Best Director, etc. Whether they will make the cut depends on whom The Academy members are voting for. Hence it is clear that the Reminder List is not a shortlist. Any film that meets the eligibility criteria can be a part of the Reminder List. The Academy members who watch the film decide which film gets nominated/shortlisted. Hence, the tweets by Vivek Agnihotri, Anupam Kher and others, and the media reports claiming The Kashmir Files and Kantara have been ‘shortlisted’, are false. Moreover, the claims made by the film crew that certain actors have been shortlisted for the Best Actor award are false as well, since there is no shortlist for the Best Actor award.  The nominations for the 95th Academy Awards will be announced on Tuesday, January 24, 2023, while the Oscars ceremony will be held on Sunday, March 12, 2023, at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood.  
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