Lijo Jose Pellissery's Jallikattu, featuring Antony Varghese, selected as India's official entry to 93rd Academy Awards

Jallikattu was selected from a total of 27 Hindi, Malayalam, Oria, and Marathi films.

Press Trust of India November 25, 2020 16:27:16 IST
Lijo Jose Pellissery's Jallikattu, featuring Antony Varghese, selected as India's official entry to 93rd Academy Awards

Still from Jallikattu. Image via Twitter

Malayalam feature 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) announced on Thursday.

The film, which was unanimously chosen from 27 entries across Hindi, Odiya, Marathi, and other languages, 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 is based on the short story Maoist by Hareesh and stars Antony Varghese, Chemban Vinod Jose, Sabumon Abdusamad, and Santhy Balachandran.

"There were a total of 27 films that had entered the race from Hindi, Malayalam, Oria, and Marathi. The film which has been nominated by the jury to represent India at the Oscars is the Malayalam film Jallikattu. It is a film that really brings out the raw problems which are there in human beings, that is we are worse than animals," filmmaker Rahul Rawail, Chairman, Jury Board, Film Federation of India, told reporters in an online press conference.

Calling Pellissery a "very competent director", known for several critically acclaimed films like Angamaly Diaries and Ea Ma Yau, Rawail said Jallikattu is a production that 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," the chairman said.

Jallikattu had its premiere on 6 September, 2019 at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival and received widespread critical acclaim.

Pellissery also won the best director trophy at the 50th International Film Festival of India last year.

In 2019, Zoya Akhtar's Gully Boy, starring Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt, was India's entry to the Oscars.

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