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Assamese actress Urmila Mahanta who features in Hindi film Ballad of Rustom has been shortlisted for the Best Picture category at the Academy Awards 2014. In the 117-minute film, Urmila plays one of the girls whom Rustom, the protagonist, meets on a train during his life as a wanderer.
Besides her role in the Ballad of Rustom, Urmila has appeared in various plays, short films and television serials. She shot to fame after the critically acclaimed 2012 Tamil crime thriller Vazhakku Enn 18/9.
Hailing from Sonapur near Guwahati, Urmila went to school at Sonapur and graduated from Dimoria College in Khetri of Kamrup. She faced the camera for the first time when in Class XII. She has also graduated from FTII with a degree in science-theatre-photography and cinema.
Ajita Suchitra Veera, the director of the film, was named best director in Osian’s Cinefan (the largest film festival devoted to Asian and Arab cinema) two years ago.
If Ballad of Rustom wins an Oscar it will be the second film to receive the prestigious award featuring an Assamese actor or actress. Before it, Life of Pi, featuring Assamese actor Adil Hussain, won accolades at the Academy Awards.