Malayalam feature film ‘Jallikattu’, directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery, has been selected as India’s official entry for the International Feature Film category at the Oscars.
The Film Federation of India (FFI), headed by filmmaker Rahul Rawail, announced on November 25 that the action drama has been selected as India’s official entry for the 93rd Academy Awards.
The film is about a buffalo that escapes and runs amok while the whole village starts a mad search to hunt it down. It is based on a short story called ‘Maoist’ written by Hareesh and stars Antony Varghese, Chemban Vinod Jose, Santhy Balachandran, and Sabumon Abdusamad.
'Jallikattu' premiered on September 6, 2019, at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, where it was widely appreciated by critics.
Lijo Jose’s film beat 26 others including Deepika Padukone-starrer ‘Chhappak’, Netflix releases ‘Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl’, ‘Bulbbul’, and ‘Serious Men’ and Amazon Prime Video’s ‘Shakuntala Devi’, ‘Chhlaang’, and ‘Gulabo Sitabo’ to become India's official entry for the 93rd Academy Awards.
It also beat Chaitanya Tamhane’s ‘The Disciple’, which won at the Venice International Film Festival and Rohena Gera’s ‘Is Love Enough’ along with Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s ‘Shikara’.
Speaking about the selection of the film ‘Jallikattu’ for the Oscars, Rawail said the majority of the 14-member jury opted for this. He added: “It is a film which shows human instincts are worse than (that of) animals. The unique ensemble of characters and the location coupled with the technical and human aspects -- it was the best from the package. It is a production to be proud of.”
Last year, the FFI jury had picked Zoya Akhtar’s ‘Gully Boy’ as India’s official entry for the Oscars; however, the film did not make the shortlist.