23 Feb 2009
PUNE: It took a while for Resul Pookutty and wife Shadia to register the fact that Resul's name had been announced as the winner of an Oscar for sound mixing. The award came as bolt from the blue, say the Pookuttys, speaking to TOI over the phone from Los Angeles at 4.15 am (US time). "The earlier category before sound mixing was that of sound editing for which the winner was The Dark Knight'. When we heard that, we became a bit apprehensive so that, when our award was announced, I just went blank. I did not know what was happening around me," says Pookutty.
Shadia, who accompanied Pookutty to the ceremony agreed. "For a second or two we kept telling ourselves that the name announced was Resul and that meant us," she laughed. Pookutty, a Film and Television Institute of India (FTII) graduate of the 1995 batch, admits that the award is big. It means a lot to him and the entire sound fraternity in India, he said. "The last couple of days have been strenuous, but now it is time for celebration. This is like the Olympics or World Cup of films. Now I have some idea how sportspersons feel when they win," he said.
The Oscar experience was great, says Shadia, "We had a wonderful time and meeting so many people was an experience in itself. Everyone was so humble and nice. Of course, what made it even more memorable was the eight Oscars that the film eventually won," she said.
Pookutty agreed. "One of the highlights of my experience at the Oscars was when Steven Spielberg and Brad Pitt came and congratulated me in the winner's gallery. The people we spoke to were also trying to learn about a culture that was alien to them," he said.
Pookutty said that though he had not prepared an acceptance speech in advance, he had a vague idea of what he would say. "I knew that I wanted to dedicate it to my country. Everything else came straight from my heart. Being up there was just great," he said. He said he was aware of making a few gaffes, one of them being the fact that he forgot to thank the FTII, the institute that shaped and made him. "I would like to thank them now. I owe a lot to the institute," he stated.
Asked how he planned to celebrate the victory, Pookutty said that he had no idea. "Right now I'm just enjoying the feeling of being on cloud nine and of course I'm talking to everyone in my family. I'm just living the moment for now."