Director Ashutosh Gowariker, who is a self-confessed film buff, is thrilled that he is among the chosen few on the Oscars jury this year.
Taking time off from the mixing and background music of his latest film "Swades", Gowariker told IANS: "The board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences offered me the prestigious membership of the academy, which I accepted.
"They have made me a member of the Director's Branch. A membership of the Academy means amongst various things access to their large Film Archive, their expansive Book Library, invitations to the various Academy functions like book releases, film releases, film screenings, felicitations and much more, in the three cities of Los Angeles, New York and London."
Gowariker, whose "Lagaan" made it to the coveted shortlist of Best Foreign Films at the Oscars, is naturally very excited by the singular honour.
"The membership also means I get voting rights to decide the best among different categories of movies nominated for an Oscar for the coming mainstream Hollywood films. I don't have to go to Los Angeles to view the films. They'll send me the films on DVD and I need to view them here and cast my vote."
The "Lagaan" director who's a major film buff loves the idea of being in a position to view so many films for such an important occasion. He also admits it's an honour for him to represent the Hindi film industry at such a prestigious film jamboree.
"I'm really excited and looking forward to the films. Though I would have liked to be on the Foreign Film Category. We made it all the way to that category with 'Lagaan'. It holds sentimental value for me."