Jallikattu has been selected as India’s official entry for the 93rd Academy Awards. The Lijo Jose Pellissery movie has been nominated in the Best International Feature Film category.
How Jallikattu was chosen
Jallikattu was chosen out of 27 films. A 14-member committee of the Film Federation of India which picks the Indian nominee ever year, made the announcement on Wednesday.
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. He said, “It is a film which really brings out the raw side of human beings, that we are worse than animals. Human instincts are worse than animals. The film has been depicted wonderfully. It’s a production that all of us should be proud of. The film has been shot very well. The emotions, which come out, moved all of us. Lijo is an extremely competent director. So, that’s why we zeroed in on Jallikattu.”
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.
Apart from Rawail, the jury members were Abhishek Shah, Atanu Ghosh, C Umamaheswara Rao, Jayesh More, Kalaippuli S Thanu, Niraj Shah, Nirav Shah, P Sheshadri, Prabuddha Banerjee, Sabarni Das, Satarupa Sanyal, Shrinivas Bhanage and Vijay Khochikar.
Directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery, Jallikattu stars Antony Varghese, Chemban Vinod Jose, Sabumon Abdusamad and Santhy Balachandran. Lijo's spectacular directing is supported by Girish Gangadharan's cinematography and Renganaath Ravee's wild sound design work in the film.
The film is based on the short story Maoist by S Hareesh, who has also written the screenplay along with R Jayakumar.
Jallikattu had its premiere on September 6, 2019 at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival and received widespread critical acclaim. Later, it was screened at the 50th International Film Festival of India last year and Lijo Jose Pellissery had won the best director trophy.
Jallikattu, which derives its name from the popular-yet-controversial bull-taming event, is about a tribe of men coming together to stop a bull that has run amok in their village. It gives a glimpse into man's primal desire for violence and how at his worst point, he is no different from the animal.
The nominations for the 93rd Academy Awards will be announced on March 15. The Academy Awards ceremony will be held on April 25.
Jallikattu is the third Malayalam film to be nominated as India's official entry to the Oscars. The other two are Guru (1997), directed by Rajeev Anchal, and Adaminte Makan Abu (2011), by Salim Ahamed.
Last year, Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy was India’s official entry to the Oscars, but the film did not get shortlisted for nominations. The last Indian film to get nominated in the category, earlier known as the Best Foreign Language Film, was Lagaan in 2002.