The Film Federation of India has picked Malayalam film Jallikattu as the country’s entry in the Best International Feature Film category for the Oscar awards 2021.
Directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery, Jallikattu has received critical acclaim and has done well on the festival circuit, premiering at the Toronto Film Festival and also being screened at the Busan film festival.
Lijo Jose Pellissery also won the Best Director award at the 50th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) and the film won two awards, best director and best sound mixing, at the 50th Kerala State Film Awards earlier this year as well.
Amazon Prime Video tweeted about Jallikattu being selected as India's official entry for Oscars this year.
Set in a remote village in the hill ranges of Kerala, Jallikattu’s plot unfolds during the course of a night when a butcher’s buffalo breaks free from a slaughterhouse and runs amok.
The entire town ends up bloodthirstily chasing it, bringing to the forefront the beastly nature of the hunters, the humans. Jallikattu has been streaming on Amazon Prime since early November 2019.
The 2019 action-drama stars Antony Varghese, Chemban Vinod Jose, Sabumon Abdusamad and Santhy Balachandran and is based on a short story Maoist by writer S Hareesh.
Jallikattu was picked for the 93rd Academy Awards from a list of 27 films that included Chhapaak, The Disciple, Shakumtala Devi, Chhalaang, Gulabo Sitabo, The Sky Is Pink and Eeb Allay Ooo!
Indian films have failed to make it to the Oscars shortlist in the foreign film category for the last few years with entries such as Gully Boy, Village Rockstars, Newton and Visaranani. The only Indian films to have been nominated for an Oscar till date have been Mother India, Salaam Bombay and Lagaan.
Many from the Malayalam as well as Bollywood film fraternity expressed their joy and congratulated the Jallikattu team, including actor Prithviraj Sukumaran.
Fans of the movie, especially of the amazing night shots and cinematography by Girish Gangadharan are hoping that Pellissery's Jallikattu would finally break India's jinx with the Oscar for Best International Feature Film.
The 2021 Oscar awards have been rescheduled for Sunday, 25 April 2021, instead of February to extend the eligibility period for films which have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.