Malayalam movie ‘Jallikattu’ has been selected for India’s official entry to Oscars 2021.Jallikattu is a 2019 Indian Malayalam-language independent action film directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery with a screenplay by S. Hareesh and R. Jayakumar, based on the short story Maoist by Hareesh. The film stars Antony Varghese, Chemban Vinod Jose, Sabumon Abdusamad and Santhy Balachandran. The plot follows a bull that escapes from a slaughterhouse in a hilly remote village and the entire village men gathering to hunt down the animal.

Jallikattu premiered on 6 September 2019 at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival and received widespread critical acclaim.The film was showcased at the 24th Busan International Film Festival under the section ‘A Window on Asian Cinema’. It was released in home state Kerala on 4 October 2019.Lijo Jose Pellissery received the Best Director trophy at the 50th International Film Festival of India. The film won the Best Sound and Best Editing awards at the 7th Aurangabad International Film Festival on 9 February 2020.

Jallikattu was chosen out of 27 films. 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.

The film that released in 2019 to rave critic reviews and box office success will now be in the running to secure a nomination in the ‘Best International Feature Film’ category.Last year, Zoya Akhtar’s commercially successful ‘Gully Boy’, was sent as India’s official entry to the 92nd Academy Awards. The film, however, did not make the cut among the 91 films that were in the race.

Jallikattu derives its name from the controversial bull-taming event that is held in the southern part of the country. The film is about a group of men coming together to stop a bull that is running wild in their village.

This is the second year the award will be given under the name of ‘Best International Feature Film’, after a change in April 2019 from ‘Foreign-Language Film’.

In 1992, Satyajit Ray became the first Indian to be given an honorary Lifetime Achievement Oscar. Rayka Zehtabchi’s Period, End of Sentence, co-produced by Mumbai-based filmmaker Guneet Monga, won the Academy Award in the Best Documentary (Short Subject) category in 2019.

In the last few years, films like Village Rockstars, Newton, Court, Visaranai, Barfi, Indian, Peepli Live among others have been submitted for nominations.

The 2021 Academy Awards will be held on April 25 instead of the usual second Sunday of February.


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