8 Indians Who Have Won Oscars and Their Achievements

As 'Naatu Naatu' and 'The Elephant Whisperers' win big at the Oscars 2023, here are 8 Indians who have won Oscars.

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Video Producer: Shohini Bose

Video Editor: Purnendu Pritam

The 95th Academy Awards were held at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on 12 March. Indian cinema created history by securing two victories for the nation at the Oscars this year. While SS Rajamouli's internationally acclaimed RRR won the Oscar for 'Best Original Song' for 'Naatu Naatu', filmmaker Kartiki Gonsalves' The Elephant Whisperers won in the 'Best Documentary Short Film' category.

However, this isn't the first time Indians have brought home the prestigious award. Here's a list of Indians who won Academy Awards.


1. Bhanu Athaiya

Bhanu Athaiya won an Oscar for Best Costume Design for Gandhi.

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

Bhanu Athaiya was the first Indian to receive an Oscar. She won an Academy Award for 'Best Costume Design' for her work in Richard Attenborough's 1982 biography film, Gandhi. Athaiya is also the recipient of two National Awards for her work in Gulzar's 1990 film Lekin and the Aamir Khan-starrer Lagaan (2001).

Besides, Athaiya has worked on more than 90 films with celebrated Indian filmmakers, including Guru Dutt, Yash Chopra, BR Chopra, and Raj Kapoor, among others. Some of her other notable works include Pyaasa (1957), Amrapali (1966), Guide (1965), and Swades (2004).

2. Satyajit Ray

Satyajit Ray won an Honorary Award at the Oscars. 

(Photo Courtesy: IMDb)

Satyajit Ray remains one of the finest filmmakers of Indian cinema to date. Ray was awarded an 'Academy Honorary Award' for lifetime achievement at the 64th Oscars in 1992. Due to his declining health, the director was unable to personally attend the ceremony at the Dolby Theatre. However, Ray's video message was screened at the ceremony.

The award, announced by actor Audrey Hepburn, described his work in recognition of Ray's "rare mastery of the art of motion pictures and his profound humanism, which has had an indelible influence on filmmakers and audiences throughout the world."

Besides, Ray is also the recipient of several other prestigious awards, including the Bharat Ratna, India's highest civilian honour, the Dadasahed Phalke Award, India's highest film award, the 36th National Awards, and a Golden Bear Award.

3. Resul Pookutty

Resul Pookutty won an Oscar for Best Sound Mixing for Slumdog Millionaire.

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

Resul Pookutty is an Indian film sound designer, an audio mixer, and a sound editor. Pookutty received an Academy Award for his work in Danny Boyle's 2008 film Slumdog Millionaire at the 84th Oscars in 2009. He shared the award jointly with Ian Tapp and Richard Pryke.

Besides, he is also the recipient of a National Award for his work in the 2009 Malayalam-language epic period drama, Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja.

His other notable works include Ra.One (2011), Highway (2014), Kochadaiiyaan (2014), and Pushpa: The Rise (2021).


4. AR Rahman

AR Rahman won Oscars in two categories - Best Original Score for Slumdog Millionaire and Best Original Song for Jai Ho.

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

AR Rahman is the first Indian to win Oscars in two categories. He received an Academy Award for 'Best Original Score' for his work in Slumdog Millionaire (2008) and 'Best Original Song' for 'Jai Ho' from the Oscar-winning film.

The musician is the recipient of several National Awards, namely for his work in Roja (1992), Minsara Kanavu (1996), Lagaan (2001), Kannathil Muthamittal (2002), Kaatru Veliyidai (2017), and Mom (2017).

In addition, he has received numerous other prestigious awards, such as the Grammy Awards, BAFTA Awards, Golden Globe Awards, and Filmfare Awards.

5. Gulzar

Gulzar shared the Oscar with AR Rahman for Original Song for Jai Ho.

(Photo Courtesy: IMDb)

Gulzar is an Indian Urdu poet, lyricist, author, screenwriter, and filmmaker. At the 81st Academy Awards, he shared an Oscar with AR Rahman for 'Best Original Song' for 'Jai Ho'. Gulzar was the lyricist of the popular track from Slumdog Millionaire.

Besides, the veteran is also the recipient of six National Awards, the Padma Bhushan and the Dadasaheb Phalke Award.

6. MM Keeravani

MM Keeravani won an Oscar for Best Orginal Song for 'Naatu Naatu' from RRR.

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

MM Keeravani is the director of music for SS Rajamouli's internationally acclaimed film RRR. The musician won an Oscar for 'Best Original Song' for the film's wildly popular dance number 'Naatu Naatu' at the 95th Academy Awards.

In addition, Keeravani also received a Golden Globe Award for 'Naatu Naatu'. He is also the recipient of a National Award and the Padma Shri.


7. Kartiki Gonsalves and Guneet Monga

Kartiki Gonsalves and Guneet Monga won an Oscar for Best Documentary Short Film for The Elephant Whisperers.

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

Kartiki Gonsalves is an Indian-American documentary filmmaker who made her debut with The Elephant Whisperers, produced by Guneet Monga. Gonsalves and Monga received an Oscar in the 'Best Documentary Short Film' category at the 95th Academy Awards for their film The Elephant Whisperers. The critically acclaimed documentary is also the first Indian production to win an Oscar in this category.

Whereas, Monga won her first Oscar for Period. End of Sentence in the 'Best Documentary Short Film' in 2019.

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Topics:  RRR   AR Rahman   Gulzar 

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