Priyanka Chopra, Mindy Kaling co-host pre-Oscars party for South Asian nominees

The event was attended by Malala Yousafzai, Aziz Ansari, Rupi Kaur, Tan France and more

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Priyanka Chopra and Mindy Kaling, along with a few other notable names, co-hosted a South Asian Excellence party to celebrate the nominees who have made it to the 2023 Academy Awards.

Running for its second year and also hosted by Paramount Pictures, the pre-Oscar party took place on Friday, and a number of South Asian talents gathered to celebrate during the event. These included international activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, actress Freida Pinto, fashion designer Tan France, actor and comedian Aziz Ansari, poet Rupi Kaur, Bridgerton star Simone Ashley and more.

“I have never looked around in my 12 years of working in Hollywood and in entertainment in America and seen so many South Asians connected to the Oscars,” Chopra told Vanity Fair.

Chopra, who organised the event with her manager Anjula Acharia and was in attendance with her husband, singer Nick Jonas, said that it was “very special” to be at a party to honour and celebrate her peers.

“This is a community that has given a lot for many years in many ways, and it’s our time to shine,” she added.

During a speech at the event, Chopra specially thanked Kaling and Ansari for their work over the years to change the stereotypes about South Asians and for creating a space for them in the industry, both in front of and behind the camera.

Kaling posted to her 6.5 million followers on Instagram how honoured she was to co-host the celebration with Chopra.

“Last night, I was honoured to co-host a celebration of South Asian Oscar nominees,” she wrote. “Met so many new friends and hugged old ones, and was inspired by the talent all around me.”

Indian actress and producer Preity Zinta was also at the celebration and posted a photo on her Instagram account of herself with a number of South Asian women in attendance. “From meeting old friends to making new ones, last night was so special. Nothing is more sexy and beautiful than an independent, powerful and talented woman,” she captioned the post.

Pakistani singer Ali Sethi posted a video of himself performing on stage during the party, along with the caption, “so happy that we are here as our true selves, no longer typecast and overflowing every metric.”

The South Asian Oscar nominees this year include songwriter M M Keeravaani and lyricist Chandrabose for the single Naatu Naatu from RRR, nominated for Best Song, All That Breathes by Shaunak Sen for Best Documentary Feature, and the Best Documentary Short-nominated The Elephant Whisperers by Kartiki Gonsalves and Stranger at the Gate, which stars Saber and Bibi Bahrami and was executive produced by Yousafzai.

A number of South Asian actors also featured in some of the Oscar-nominated films this year.

Actress Sunita Mani has a role in Everything Everywhere All at Once, which is nominated for 11 Oscars including Best Picture. It is also up for Best Original Score by the band Son Lux, whose member Rafiq Bhatia is of East African Indian descent. Actress Maitreyi Ramakrishnan also features in Turning Red which is nominated for Best Animated Film.

Other South Asian films that were shortlisted for nominations at the Oscars but didn't make the final list include Pakistani drama Joyland by Saim Sadiq, shortlisted for Best International Feature Film, and Chhello Show (Last Film Show), an Indian movie by Pan Nalin, also shortlisted in the same category.

The 95th Academy Awards ceremony will take place on March 12 (4am UAE time on March 13) at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles

Updated: March 13, 2023, 4:10 AM