Malayalam film Nayattu and Tamil film Mandela are among the 14 films shortlisted for India's entry to the Academy Awards, The Cue reported. Vidya Balan's Sherni and Vicky Kaushal’s Sardar Udham are other films in the shortlist. Acclaimed filmmaker Shaji N Karun is the Chairman of the jury which will be selecting the film that will be nominated from India for the Best International Feature Film category.
Nayattu, directed by Martin Prakkat, released earlier this year, with Joju George, Nimisha Sajayan and Kunchacko Boban playing the lead characters of police officers on the run, after a crime is committed. The film received critical attention at the time for its tightly packed script and great performances of the actors, though there has been some criticism of its take on caste.
According to The Cue, 14 films have reached the jury which contains 15 members. The movie selected from the shortlist will be sent as India's entry for the Academy Awards which will be held in March 2022. However, the film should still find a place among the nominations to qualify for the competition.
Mandela, a Tamil satire film written and directed by Madonne Ashwin, has Yogi Babu playing the lead character of a rural barber. In a village that's thick with class and caste differences, Yogi's barber character is treated very poorly until it happens that his vote could decide an election result.
Vidya Balan was appreciated for her performance in Sherni, a Hindi film by Amit V Masurkar, in which she plays a forest officer facing resistance as she tries to capture a man-eating tigress. Sardar Udham, one of the newest films in the block, is directed by Shoojit Sarcar. It has been receiving rave reviews since its OTT release four days ago on Amazon Prime Video. The film tells the story of Sardar Udham Singh who shot a British officer in retaliation for the Jallianwala Bagh Massacre of 1919.