Indian music maestro AR Rahman in Oscar race again

Los Angeles, Dec 14:  It could be a twin win for Indian music maestro A.R. Rahman once again at the Academy Awards as his work for “Pele: Birth of a Legend” has found a spot in an initial list of Oscar contenders for the year.

Rahman, who earlier registered a double Oscar victory for his music in “Slumdog Millionaire” in 2009, has been included in a ‘long list’ of 145 scores in contention for a nomination in the Original Score category for the upcoming 89th Academy Awards.

“Ginga”, Rahman’s acclaimed number from the 2016 biographical film, is in the Oscar race too. It is part of the 91 songs, which are competing for a spot in the final nominations for the Original Song category.

The initial list of contenders for both the categories were released by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on its official website on Tuesday.

Final nominations for the 89th Academy Awards will be announced on January 24, ahead of the presentation ceremony, which will take place on February 26 at the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood.

In 2009, Rahman was honoured for his Best Original Score for “Slumdog Millionaire”, as also the Best Original Song “Jai ho” from the same film. The track had lyrics by Gulzar.

Rahman started his journey in the music industry by composing scores for documentaries and TV shows before he got his first movie break with “Roja” in 1992.

Since then, he has composed soul-rendering music in films like “Rangeela”, “Taal”, “Dil Se”, “Jodhaa Akbar”, “Swades”, “Rang De Basanti”, “Rockstar”, “Jab Tak Hai Jaan” and “Raanjhanaa”.

He got his first international break when Andrew Lloyd Webber invited him to compose music for the Broadway musical “Bombay Dreams”, which won him immense fame. He also composed for the stage adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord Of The Rings” that premiered in Canada in 2006 and in London in 2007.

In 2014, Rahman’s work in Hollywood movies like “Million Dollar Arm” and “The Hundred-Foot Journey”, and Indian film “Kochadaiiyaan”, was also among the Oscar contenders.

In 2011, Rahman had received two nominations for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards for his original score in Boyle’s “127 Hours” as well as original song “If I Rise” for the same movie. However, he did not bring the golden statuette home.

Co-directed by Jeff Zimbalist and Michael Zimbalist, “Pele: Birth of a Legend” is based on the early life of legendary Brazilian footballer Pele.

Meanwhile, Alex Heffes — who composed music for Indian filmmaker Mira Nair’s “Queen of Katwe” — is also included in both the categories for his compositions in the biographical sports drama film.

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