I have been following Academy Awards for may be 3–4 years now and have admired the quality of movies that get nominated.
Growing up in India, there is always talks about this movie or that movie getting into the Oscars, the people that spread these rumors would conveniently never tell us whether it was nominated for an Oscar or won an Oscar or even what it is to win an Oscar. So, we would conveniently patronize the films we liked by just saying the name of that movie and the word “Oscar” in the same sentence.
Academy Awards have officially had a race for Best Foreign Language film since 1956 — that is we have had a chance to win it for 57 years now. India has nominated 3 movies thus far. It is unclear what the process is for submitting an entry for nomination. It appears that some authority like FFI will decide which movies are submitted — but if some of the past entries (unsuccessful nominations) are any proof, the authorities have no knowledge as to the quality of entries sent by other countries and/or in complete denial of the (lack of) quality of their entries.
The countries that have had a good track record of submissions include France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Japan and Israel.
What is it that Japan and Israel can do that we cannot? (India’s ranking neighbors are Taiwan and South Africa!)
At the end, you could argue that Indian movies cannot be evaluated and rated on the same basis as other countries in the world, because we are “special” — I couldn’t counter it, but I would know in my skin what the truth is.