Oscars 2023: List of Indians who won the Oscars

Oscars 2023: The 95th Academy Awards were held at the Dolby Theatre of Hollywood on March 12, 2023. Various Indians and films have been nominated for the Academy Awards or Oscars in several categories. Take a look at the list of Indians who won the Oscar Awards.
Indians who won the Oscar Awards
Indians who won the Oscar Awards

Indians who won the Oscars: The 95th Academy Awards were held on March 12, 2023, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. The Academy Awards, also known as The Oscars, is one of the most prestigious awards ceremonies in the film industry. Every year, filmmakers, actors, and crew members from around the world gather to celebrate the best achievements in filmmaking from the previous year. The Oscars 2023 was another exciting event that  showcased the best movies and performances from 2022.

In the world, various awards are given in the field of cinema. But the Oscars is considered to be the world's biggest award given in the field of entertainment. At the 30th Academy Awards Oscars, India's first submission for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film category was Mehboob Khan's 1957 Hindi-language film, Mother India. It was nominated alongside four other films, but it was defeated by the Italian film Nights of Cabiria (1957). The first Indian to win an Academy Award was Bhanu Athaiya for designing the costumes (55th Academy Awards). Take a look at the list of Indians who won the Academy Awards.

READ| Oscars 2022: Check the full list of Winners and Nominees

List of Indians who won the Oscars

Recipients Category Year
Bhanu Athaiya Best Costume Design 1983
Satyajit Ray Honorary Award 1992
Resul Pookutty Best Sound Mixing 2009
Gulzar Best Original Song 2009
A R Rahman Best Original Score and Best Original Song 2009
Kartiki Gonsalves Best Documentary Short 2023
 MM Keeravani and Chandrabose Best Original Song 2023

1. Bhanu Athaiya - Best Costume Design


She won an Academy Award for "Best Costume Design" for her work in the movie Gandhi (1982). Two of her artworks were included in the 1953 Progressive Artists' Group show in Bombay. She worked on more than 90 films with Indian filmmakers, including Guru Dutt, Yash Chopra, B.R. Chopra, Raj Kapoor, Vijay Anand, Raj Khosla, Ashutosh Gowariker, etc. On international projects, she worked with directors like Conrad Rooks (Siddhartha, 1972) and Richard Attenborough (Gandhi, 1982). 

2. Satyajit Ray - Honorary Award


He is considered one of the finest directors of Indian and Bengali cinema, and his legacy remains even today. At the 64th Academy Awards, in 1992, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded Ray an Honorary Oscar for Lifetime Achievement. He could not attend the ceremony personally because of his ill health. His video message was shown at the ceremony in the Dolby Theatre. The award was announced by actor Audrey Hepburn, who described his work and said, "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." 

Satyajit Ray gave the speech in a hospital bed with an Oscar statuette in his hand and said, "It’s an extraordinary experience for me to be here tonight to receive this magnificent award, certainly the best achievement of my moviemaking career."

He said, “I have learnt everything about the craft of cinema from the making of American films. I’ve been watching American films very carefully over the years and I love them for how they entertain and then later, loved them for what they taught so I express my gratitude to the American cinema, towards the Motion Picture Association who has given me this award and who made me feel so proud." The ceremony was held in 1992 on March 30 and on April 23, Satyajit Ray died. That was less than a month later. 

3. Resul Pookutty -  Best Sound Mixing 


He is an Indian film sound designer, sound editor, and audio mixer. He received an Oscar for his work in the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire at the 81st Academy Awards in 2009. He won the award along with Ian Tapp and Richard Pryke. He also worked in Hindi, Tamil, and Malayalam languages with British films. For various productions, he engineered the sound, including Musafir (2004), Zinda (2006), Traffic Signal (2007), Gandhi, My Father (2007), Saawariya (2007), Dus Kahaniyaan, Kerala Varma Pazhassi Raja (2009), and Enthiran (2010).

4. A R Rahman - Best Original Score and Best Original Song


He is a great music composer who needs no introduction. He is a legend in his own right, as well as one of India's most respected music directors. The Indian government awarded him the Padma Bhushan in 2010, which is the nation's third-highest civilian award. A.R. Rahman won two awards at the Oscars, namely one for the original score and the other for the song "Jai Ho" in 2009. In his speech, he said, "Before coming here I was excited and terrified. The last time I felt that way was when I was getting married. There is a Hindi dialogue, mere pass ma hai which means, even if I have got nothing, I have my mother here. I want to thank her for coming all the way to support me." In 2011, he was also nominated twice for the movie 127 Hours.

A R Rahman won several awards, namely National Film Awards, Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, BAFTA Awards, Golden Globe Awards, Filmfare Awards, and Filmfare Awards South.  

5. Gulzar- Best Original Song


Gulzar Sahab, a famous personality who also needs no introduction, is an Indian poet, lyricist, author, screenwriter, and film director. 

At the 81st Academy Awards, he won an Oscar for "Best Original Song" for "Jai Ho." In 1963, he started his career with music director S.D. Burman as a lyricist for the film Bandini. He also worked with several music directors, namely R. D. Burman, Salil Chowdhury, Vishal Bhardwaj, and A. R. Rahman. He also writes poetry, dialogues, and scripts. He also directed films like Aandhi, Mausam, etc. He also won various awards, namely, Indian National Film Awards, Filmfare Awards, Academy Awards, Grammy Awards, etc. In 2004, he received the Padma Bhushan, which is the third-highest civilian award in India. In 2013, he won the Dadasaheb Phalke Award, which is the highest award in Indian cinema.

At the 94th Academy Awards, Denis Villeneuve’s science-fiction epic Dune won multiple trophies, and among them was the Best Visual Effects, Oscars. One of the companies behind the VFX of the film is London-based visual effects and animation studio DNEG. Its CEO is an Indian-origin named Namit Malhotra. He is the son of Naresh Malhotra, a Bollywood film producer, and grandson of M.N. Malhotra, a cinematographer.

In a tweet, the Minister of Information and Broadcasting, Anurag Thakur, congratulated Namit Malhotra and DNEG. He wrote, "Congratulations to DNEG, VFX & Animation Studio led by CEO Namit Malhotra on winning the #Oscars in the ‘Best Visual Effects’ category for their team’s work on Dune! India is leading the way in the AVGC sector, we’re geared up to meet the global demand w/ our innovations & talent.”

6. Kartiki Gonsalves and Guneet Monga- Best Documentary Short


In 2022, Indian-American short documentary filmmaker Kartiki Gonsalves made her directorial debut with The Elephant Whisperers. The film explores the relationship that forms between a couple and Raghu, an orphaned baby elephant who was placed in their care. DOC NYC Film Festival, a documentary film festival in the United States, hosted the world premiere of the Sikhya Entertainment-produced movie on November 9, 2022.
On December 8, 2022, Netflix made the movie available for streaming worldwide. And at the Oscars 2023, it was named Best Documentary Short Film.

Oscars Winners 2023: Full Winner List for Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Director, and Others

7. RRR Naatu Naatu - Best Original Song


S.S. Rajamouli's blockbuster film "RRR' just cannot stop creating records. The movie's infectious song "Naatu Naatu" won the Best Original Song at the Golden Globes Award of 2023 and it has not stopped making waves. On March 12, the eve of the Academy Awards 2023, Naatu Naatu won an Oscar for the category Best Original Song. Taking the stage to pick up the trophy, MM Keeravani and Chandrabose, the composers of the award winning song, celebrated the win with a song. 

Movie enthusiasts, industry insiders, and the general public eagerly anticipate the nominations and winners of the Oscars, as they often provide insight into the current state and trends of the film industry. From groundbreaking performances to innovative storytelling, the Oscars 2023 was a celebration of the best and brightest in the world of cinema.

READ| 15 Famous Indian Personalities and their Autobiographies

The Academy Award Categories

Below are the 24 categories of the Academy Awards Oscars:

  1. Best Actor in a Leading Role
  2. Best Actor in a Supporting Role
  3. Best Actress in a Leading Role
  4. Best Actress in a Supporting Role
  5. Best Adapted Screenplay
  6. Best Animated Feature
  7. Best Animated Short Film
  8. Best Art Direction
  9. Best Cinematography
  10. Best Costume Design
  11. Best Director
  12. Best Documentary Feature
  13. Best Documentary Short Subject
  14. Best Film Editing
  15. Best Foreign Language Film
  16. Best Makeup
  17. Best Original Score
  18. Best Original Screenplay
  19. Best Original Song
  20. Best Original Story
  21. Best Picture
  22. Best Sound Editing
  23. Best Sound Mixing
  24. Best Visual Effects
  25. Live Action Short Film




Who is the first Indian to win an Academy Award in 1983?

Bhanu Athaiya became the first Indian to win an Academy Award in 1983 for designing costumes.

Who is known as the father of Indian Cinema?

Dadasaheb Phalke is known as the father of Indian Cinema.

What was the first Indian film nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film category at the Oscars?

Mother India was India's first submission to the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film category at the 30th Academy Awards.
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