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Malayalam movie 'Jallikattu' chosen as Indian entry for Oscars in 2021
Mumbai, November 25, 2020
Malayalam movie "Jallikattu", directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery, was today announced as India's official selection for the Oscars in 2020 by the grand jury of the Film Federation of India (FFI).
The jury, headed by filmmaker Rahul Rawail, voted in majority for "Jallikattu" to be sent as India's entry for the Best International Feature Film at the 93rd Academy Awards, known popularly as the Oscars.
The prestigious Oscar awards are given annually by the US-based Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).
The award for Best International Feature Film is given to a feature-length motion picture produced outside the United States with a predominantly non-English dialogue track.
Until 2020, the award was known as the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Jallikattu was chosen from a total of 27 films in contention. It is the third Malayalam film after Guru and Adaminte Makan Abu to be chosen as India's official entry to the Oscars.
Jallikattu had screenplay by S Harish and R Jayakumar and is 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.
“It was decided by a simple majority among the Jury members that ‘Jallikattu’ was the best film to represent our great nation at the upcoming Oscar Awards. The 14-member jury was touched by the rawness the film depicted, the complexity of human emotions with well fleshed-out characters. We believe this is the right choice and we sincerely hope it gets further selected by the Academy in due course of time,” Rawail said at a virtual press conference today.
“The jury met virtually this year keeping in mind the worldwide pandemic which has affected all our lives sodeeply. This year we received 27 final entries for selection and we had a 14-member jury panel deciding on which one to put forth as the official selection. We thank all the producers whose films were shortlisted for selection and special congratulations to the entire team of Jallikattu on being selected as our official entry to the Oscars!” remarked Firdausul Hasan, President of Film Federation of India.
Apart from Rawail, the jury this year included Abhishek Shah, Atanu Ghosh, C Umamaheswara Rao, Jayesh More, Kaaippuli S Thanu, Niraj Shah, Nirav Shah, P Sheshadri, Prabuddha Banerjee, Sabarni Das, Satarupa Sanyal, Shrinivas Bhanage and Vijay Khochikar.
“We appreciate the efforts of all stakeholders who made themselves available virtually so that this process hit no hurdles. In this ‘new normal’ situation we figured that online would be the best avenue to reach out to the producers who sent their films for consideration as well as the Jury members to meet conveniently and deliberate their process before finalizing," Hasan added.
Film Federation of India is the pan-India body of associations representing the entire value chain of the business of Indian cinema from creation to exhibition: film producers, distributors, exhibitors, studios and others.
Internationally, FFI has been entrusted by the Academy to recommend India’s entry for the Foreign Language Oscar.