Malayalam film Jallikattu has been selected as India’s official entry for the 93rd Academy Awards to be held in 2021. The Film Federation of India has picked this Lijo Jose Pellissery-directed film to enter the Best International Feature Film category at the Oscars next year. Since its premiere in 2019, Jallikattu has been received to widespread critical acclaim and is already the winner of several honourable film festival recognitions.

Here are 5 things to know about the film: 

1. Jallikattu, borrowing its name from the bull-taming event primarily celebrated in Tamil Nadu, is an action film that follows the plot of a butcher and an animal for slaughter gone rogue. The film upon release was lauded for its avant-garde style that focused profound attention to the most complex of human emotions. It is based on a story by acclaimed writer S Hareesh, titled Maoist.

2. The film saw a world premiere at the 2019 Toronto Film Festival and was further showcased at the Busan International Film Festival. Director Pellissery also won an accolade for his film at the 50th International Film Festival of India, held in Goa last year.

3. Jallikattu is headlined by Antony Varghese, who made a thundering debut with the critically-acclaimed Malayalam thriller Angamaly Diaries. The film also stars Chemban Vinod Jose, Sabumon Abdusamad, and Santhy Balachandran.

4. Jallikattu was selected as India’s official entry into the Oscars out of a list of 27 films, which included the likes of Shakuntala Devi, The Disciple, Shikara, Gulabo Sitabo, Gunjan Saxena, Bulbbul, Chhapaak, Atkan Chatkan, and Chintu ka Birthday. 

5. On FFI’s choice of selecting Jallikattu, Rahul Rawail, Chairman of the Jury Board, was quoted saying, “It is a film which really brings out the raw side of human beings, that we are worse than animals… The film has been shot very well. The emotions, which come out, moved all of us… So, that’s why we zeroed in on Jallikattu.”

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