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‘Writing With Fire’- First Indian Documentary Feature to Get an Oscar Nomination

'Writing With Fire' tells the inspiring story of 'Khabar Lehriya,' a dynamic community newspaper that publishes in a variety of dialects.

Published: February 9, 2022 10:15 AM IST

By Entertainment Desk | Edited by Tanya Garg

Writing With Fire
'Writing With Fire'- First Indian Documentary Feature to Get an Oscar Nomination (Picture Credit: IANS)

Writing With Fire,’ dubbed ‘the most inspiring journalism movie’ by The Washington Post and ‘nothing short of galvanising’ by The New York Times, has become the first Indian documentary feature to receive an Oscar nomination. ‘Writing With Fire,‘ directed by Rintu Thomas and Sushmit Ghosh, tells the inspiring story of ‘Khabar Lehriya,’ a lively community newspaper published by women from marginalised communities in Bihar’s Sitamarhi region and UP’s Banda district in multiple dialects — Bundeli, Avadhi, and Bajjika.

The narrative of ‘Writing With Fire’, which won top awards at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, traces the journey of the newspaper from the print to the digital medium, with the women leading it becoming daring smartphone journalists.

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Supported by the Sundance Institute, the documentary was shot over five years, following the paths of the newspaper’s chief reporter and the crime reporter as they negotiate what can at times be a difficult and dangerous world for women like them.

The story of the citizen journalists who run ‘Khabar Lehriya’ and have overseen its makeover from print to digital has been greeted with high praise by just about every film trade magazine in the United States.

The San Francisco Chronicle, though, may have nailed it when it said, “Even (Bob) Woodward and (Carl) Bernstein would be inspired by the women reporters of India’s ‘Writing with Fire,” The two American journalists with ‘Washington Post’ had blown the lid off the Watergate scandal in the 1970s, which led to the resignation of President Richard Nixon.

(With inputs from IANS)

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