Indian Movie about All-Woman News Team Nominated for Oscar

    13 February 2022

    A movie about an all-woman news group in India has been nominated for an Academy Award, or Oscar. One of the founders of the group said she is ‘proud' and happy the film is being considered for Hollywood's top awards for movie-making.

    The 93-minute film is a documentary, meaning it aims to tell facts about real people and events. It is called Writing with Fire and it follows the news reporting group called Khabar Lahariya. The name is Hindi. It means "news waves" in English. The documentary was directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh.

    Khabar Lahariya started 20 years ago. It covers stories about women and local news in the area of Uttar Pradesh. It is a place in India where people are separated by class, or caste. In India, the caste system divides people based on their work and their backgrounds. The system has been in place for a long time.

    Women wait outside a voting location in Uttar Pradesh in 2007.
    Women wait outside a voting location in Uttar Pradesh in 2007.

    The film follows women as they report on stories about the lives of people in the lower caste.

    Meera Devi is one of the reporters. She said, "I am so happy. But I can't express it well." She talked to the Reuters news agency while working on a story about elections in Uttar Pradesh.

    Meera Devi is one of the main people in the documentary. The film shows her walking through fields, riding a motorcycle on damaged roads and recording videos on her smart phone.

    Kavita Devi helped start Khabar Lahariya 20 years ago. In a message to Reuters, she wrote: “We are proud that 20 years of our rural reporting and hard work is being appreciated and loved by a global audience.”

    The organization teaches women how to use phones to make interviews. The news services works out of a building that once was a farmhouse.

    The news of the Oscar nomination made people in India’s film industry center Bollywood pay attention.

    On Twitter, actor Parineeti Chopra cheered the reporters.

    “Congratulations my fellow Indians,” she wrote. “You have made us all a little emotional today.”

    The Academy Award winners will be announced on March 27.

    I’m Dan Friedell.

    Dan Friedell adapted this story for Learning English based on a report by Reuters.


    Words in This Story

    proud – adj. being very happy and pleased with yourself for something you have done

    motorcycle – n. a two-wheeled vehicle powered by a motor

    appreciate – v. to be recognized as important and valuable

    global – adj. involving the whole world