Malayalam film Jallikattu will be representing India at the 93rd Academy Awards in the Best International Feature Film category.
- Directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery, it is India’s official entry in the Oscars 2021. Movie stars Antony Varghese, Chemban Vinod Jose, Sabumon Abdusamad, and Santhy Balachandran.
- The film was chosen out of 27 films. Movies who missed their chance are, The Disciple, Bhonsle, Chhalaang, Eeb Allay Ooo!, Shakuntala Devi, Shikara, Gunjan Saxena, Chhapaak, AK vs AK, Gulabo Sitabo, Check Post, Atkan Chatkan, Serious Men, Bulbbul, Kaamyaab, The Sky is Pink, Chintu ka Birthday and Bittersweet.
- Jallikattu revolves around a tamed buffalo. He manages to escape from its owner, on the day before its scheduled slaughter and runs murderously through a town in Kerala’s Idduki district. The film is based on the short story Maoist by S Hareesh, who has also written the screenplay along with R Jayakumar.
- Rahul Rawail, Chairman, Jury Board – Film Federation Of India shared the reason for choosing Jallikattu as India’s official entry in the Oscars. He said “It is a film which 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.”
- Premiered on September 6 last year at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival, the film has received widespread acclaim. Pellissery also won the best director trophy at the 50th International Film Festival of India last year.
- It was also screened at the 24th Busan International Film Festival. Jallikattu also bagged two awards, best director and best sound mixing, at the 50th Kerala State Film Awards earlier this year.
- 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. But still, we haven’t won any Oscar in this category.
- Costume designer Bhanu Athaiya was the first Indian to get an Academy Award for Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi (1982). Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire (2008) took eight Oscars, including for Best Original Score by AR Rahman and Best Song by Rahman (Jai Ho). Resul Pookutty shared the Oscar for Sound Mixing with two others for Boyle’s movie.
- 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.