Resul Pookutty gets twin nominations at US awards

In a rare achievement, Oscar-winning sound artist Resul Pookutty has won nominations for two films, both banned in India, at the prestigious American Motion Picture Sound Editors' (MPSE) Golden Reel Awards.

Resul Pookutty
Resul Pookutty. Pic/Satyajit Desai

The 44-year-old artist of the "Slumdog Millionaire" fame has won nominations for his sound engineering work in "Unfreedom", a US production, and "India's Daughter", which revolves around the December 16, 2012 gangrape and fatal assault on a paramedic in New Delhi.

He said the 63rd Golden Reel Awards will be announced on February 27, a day ahead of the Oscar nights, in Los Angeles. The nominations were announced last night.

The other films/television documentaries in the list include the "Beware Baltimore", "Chef's Table", "Deadliest Catch", and "The Undrafted" among others.

Pookutty said a double nomination is rarity in the industry and the beauty is that both these are Indian work.

"For me getting two nominations at the same time that too from an elite group of the best professionals is heartening. I am an MPSE member but getting double nominations is this something very different and difficult," he told PTI today.

He noted that all his international recognitions came for the work he has done in India, but expressed anguish over the ban imposed on both the films in the country.

"I don't understand why a progressive society like ours should react the way we do now. I am pained at the suppression of artistic freedom," he said, adding these two works are analysis of extreme violence, which any progressive society should welcome.

"By banning such films we are nullifying the will of the people," Pookutty said. The MPSE recognises excellence in an array of sound editing achievement, from sound effects and foley to dialogue
and ADR to music and score integration. The MPSE is the final industry group to announce nominees this year and remains the only group to do so after annual Academy Award nominations.

"India's Daughter" was directed, written and produced by British director Leslee Udwin. Though the documentary was banned in India, it was globally beamed on March 4 last year.

"Unfreedom", which espouses homosexuality, is the debut film of Florida, US-based director Raj Amit Kumar. The film, starring Adil Hussain and Victor Banerjee, is also banned in the country by the censor board.

"Unfreedom" is a thriller chronicling a lesbian love story set in New York and New Delhi and is said to be inspired by Faiz Ahmad Faiz's poem, "Ye Dagh Dagh Ujala". The film is expected to hit North American halls on May 29.

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