Naatu Naatu Faces Competition from Applause, a Song Set in Mumbai


ON the streets of Mumbai, outside a chai tapri, actors Jacqueline Fernandez and Anjali Lama dance to the song Applause, written by legendary Diane Warren and sung by Sofia Carson, in the rain.

(Left to right) Songwriter Diane Warren, director Leena Yadav and singer Sofia Carson.

This song features in the Leena Yadav-directed short film Sharing A Ride, which is part of Tell It Like A Woman, an anthology of seven shorts directed by women directors from across the world. The song Applause, which encourages women to applaud themselves and give themselves some love without waiting for someone else to do it, is competing with RRR’s ‘Naatu Naatu’ for the Academy Award for Best Original Song. Other contenders for the award are from ‘Hold My Hand’ from Top Gun: Maverick, ‘Lift Me Up’ from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and ‘This is a Life’ from Everything Everywhere All at Once.With Applause, Warren has been nominated for the Oscar for the 14th time and this is her sixth nomination in a row. In fact, the 66-year-old American songwriter in November 2022 received an honorary Oscar for her work. Talking about her nomination, she said: “This is such an inspiring moment. The movie tells women’s stories. Sharing a Ride is a fabulous film in the anthology. I am so proud that my song was used to tie that whole emotional journey (of the anthology) together. I’m proud to represent their (women protagonists) stories and journeys.” Warren is all praises for AR Rahman who has scored the music for Sharing A Ride. She gives a shout-out to women composers Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum and Elena Maro, who have worked on the other segments of the film.In 2020, Yadav was approached by We Do It Together, a non-profit film production company, to be part of the anthology that focuses on stories of women to create a larger dialogue. She chose to adapt on screen the real-life encounter Krupa Ge, her co-writer for Sharing A Ride, had. This 18-minute short explores a privileged woman professional’s conflict and realisation of her own prejudice after she is forced to share an auto ride with a transgender one night.


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