“It is a film that really brings out the raw problems"
Jallikattu has been selected as India’s official entry in the Best International Feature Film category for the 2021 Oscars.
The 2019 Malayalam action-drama was directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery.
It stars Indian actors Antony Varghese, Chemban Vinod Jose, Sabumon Abdusamad and Santhy Balachandran.
Jallikattu is based on a short story, titled ‘Maoist‘, written by Hareesh S, who also adapted the screenplay along with R Jayakumar.
The film was released in 2019 to rave critic reviews and box office success.
Jallikattu will now be in the running to secure a nomination in the ‘Best International Feature Film’ category in Oscars 2021.
The story revolves around a buffalo that flees from a slaughterhouse in a remote hill town of Kerala, and how the entire townsfolk end up hunting it.
As the animal runs riot in the town, the plot showcases the vicious side of humanity.
The film had its international premiere at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival.
It was screened at the 24th Busan International Film Festival before a theatrical release on October 4, 2019, in Kerala.
Pellissery won the Best Director award at the 50th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) in 2019.
According to reports, the film beat out many worthy opponents of the Indian film industry to be nominated for the Best International Feature Film.
Jallikattu was chosen out of 27 films, for the Oscar nomination. Other competitors included:
- Gulabo Sitabo
- The Sky is Pink
- Serious Men
- Gunjan Saxena
Asked if the film was a “unanimous choice”, filmmaker Rahul Rawail, Chairman, Jury Board, The Film Federation of India (FFI) said Jallikattu was a favourite.
Rawail told reporters at an online press conference:
“It is a film that really brings out the raw problems which are there in human beings, that is we are worse than animals.”
Calling Pellissery a “very competent director”, Rawail said Jallikattu is a production that the country should be proud of.
He continued: “The whole film talks about an animal that has run amok in a butcher’s shop.
“The film has been depicted wonderfully and it has been shot very well.”
“The emotion that comes out really moved all of us to have it selected.”
No Indian film has ever won an Oscar.
The last film from India that made it to the final five in the Best Foreign Film category list was Lagaan in 2001.
Mother India (1958) and Salaam Bombay (1989) are the other two Indian movies to have made it to the top five.
In 2019, Zoya Akhtar’s Hindi feature Gully Boy, starring Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt, was India’s entry to the Oscars.
In June, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) announced that the 2021 Oscars will be held on April 25, 2021.
This is eight weeks later than originally scheduled because of the Coronavirus pandemic’s effect on the film industry.