'Jallikattu' is the third Malayalam movie that has been selected as an entry for the Academy Awards.

A scene from Jallikattu. A man is being drowned in a sea of hands around him. His face and other hands are covered in mud.
Flix Oscars Wednesday, November 25, 2020 - 15:59

Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Malayalam film Jallikattu has been selected as India’s entry for the 2021 Academy Awards in the Best International Feature category by the Film Federation of India (FFI). Jallikattu stars Antony Varghese, Chemban Vinod Jose, Sabumon Abdusamad and Santhy Balachandran, among others. The film is about a buffalo that breaks loose and a village’s attempt to capture it. It’s also an allegorical tale on human civilisation and how easily social structures can crumble in the face of base instincts.

Lijo has made critically acclaimed films such as Amen, Angamaly Diaries and Ee.Ma.Yau in the past. Jallikattu was written by S Hareesh and R Jayakumar, and was based on the short story Maoist penned by the former. It premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) in September last year and was later released in India.

India’s 2019 entry was Zoya Akhtar’s Gully Boy, which stars Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt. While Gully Boy received good reviews, several cinema fans criticised the choice as they felt it was imitative of 8 Mile.

Movies such as Indian, Newton, Barfi, and Peepli Live have been submitted for nominations in the previous years. So far, no Indian film has won the Academy Award in the Best International Feature category. Only three films have even received a nomination – Mother India (1957), Salaam Bombay (1988) and Lagaan (2001) – all of them in Hindi.

READ: 'Gully Boy' for Academy Awards: Why are south films not taken seriously?

Jallikattu is the third Malayalam movie that has been selected as an entry for the Academy Awards, after Guru (1997) and Adaminte Makan Abu (2011).

The 93rd Academy Awards will be held on April 25, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.

Watch Jallikattu trailer:

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