Malayalam feature “Jallikattu”, directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery, has been selected as India’s official entry for the International Feature Film category at the 93rd Oscars, the Film Federation of India (FFI) announced on Thursday.
“Jallikattu” is based on the short story Maoist by Hareesh and stars Antony Varghese, Chemban Vinod Jose, Sabumon Abdusamad and Santhy Balachandran.
The film, which was unanimously chosen from 27 entries across Hindi, Odiya, Marathi and other languages, follows a bull that escapes from a slaughterhouse in a hilly remote village and the entire village men gathering to hunt down the animal.
Some of the other movies in the race to be India’s entry for Oscars 2021 were The Disciple, Shakuntala Devi, Shikara, Gunjan Saxena, Chhapaak, AK vs AK, Gulabo Sitabo, Bhonsle, Chhalaang, Eeb Allay Ooo!, Check Post, Atkan Chatkan, Serious Men, Bulbbul, Kaamyaab, The Sky is Pink, Chintu ka Birthday and Bittersweet.
Sharing the reason behind choosing Jallikattu, Rahul Rawail, Chairman, Jury Board – Film Federation Of India, heaped praise on the film’s theme, production quality and Lijo Jose Pellissery’s direction.
“It is a film that really brings out the raw problems which are there in human beings, that is we are worse than animals,” filmmaker Rahul Rawail, Chairman, Jury Board, Film Federation of India, told reporters in an online press conference.
Calling Pellissery a “very competent director”, known for several critically acclaimed films like “Angamaly Diaries” and “Ea Ma Yau”, Rawail said “Jallikattu” is a production that country should be proud of.
“Jallikattu” had its premiere on September 6, 2019 at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival and received widespread critical acclaim. Pellissery also won the best director trophy at the 50th International Film Festival of India last year.
In 2019, Zoya Akhtar”s “Gully Boy”, starring Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt, was India”s entry to the Oscars.