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 Academy Awards, the Film Federation of India (FFI) announced on Wednesday.
‘Jallikattu’, which was unanimously chosen from 27 entries across Hindi, Marathi and other languages, is about a tribe of men coming together to stop a bull that has run amok in their village.
Pellissery, who has previously made critically-acclaimed features like ‘Angamaly Diaries’ and ‘Ea Ma Yau’, said he is “extremely happy” that his movie has been selected for 2021 Oscars. “Extremely happy to know that ‘Jallikattu’ gained entry in the Oscar. This is a moment of happiness for all those who ‘raced’ for the film,” the filmmaker said.
The film, which derives its name from the
popular-yet-controversial bull-taming event from the
South, is based on a short story by Hareesh. It features actors Antony Varghese, Chemban Vinod Jose, Sabumon Abdusamad and Santhy Balachandran.
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. “It is a film that really brings out the raw problems which are there in human beings, that is we are worse than animals,” Rawail told reporters in an online press conference.
Calling Pellissery a “very competent director”, Rawail said ‘Jallikattu’ is a production that the country should be proud of. “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,” he said.
Apart from ‘Jallikattu’, other films that were competing to be named as India’s Oscar entry included ‘Chhapaak’, ‘Shakuntala Devi’, ‘Chhalaang’, ‘Gulabo Sitabo’, ‘Eeb Allay Ooo!’, ‘The Sky is Pink’, ‘Bulbbul’ in the Hindi language and internationally-celebrated Marathi feature ‘The Disciple’.