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Jallikattu: South Indian ‘Maoist’ feature heads to Oscars as country’s official entry

Wed 25 Nov 2020    
| 2 min read

South Indian film Jallikattu, a 2019 Malayalam feature directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery, with screenplay based on the short story Maoist by S. Hareesh has been selected as India’s official entry to the Oscars 2021, originating from the state of Kerala.

The movie — premiered at the Toronto Film Festival 2019 — launched to rave reviews and box office success, acclaimed for its cinematography and original soundtrack at the Asian Film Festival the same year.

Pellissery also bagged an award for ‘Best Director’ at the International Indian Film Festival 2019.

The film was handpicked from a batch of 27 contenders, all vying for the ‘Best International Feature Film’ prize, and beat out competition like Bachchan-Khurrana starrer Gulabo Sitabo, Anushka Sharma’s production Bulbbul, Priyanka Chopra starrer The Sky is Pink, Deepika Padukone starrer Chhapaak and even Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s Serious Men.

The 92nd Academy Awards Zoya Akhtar’s commercially successful Gully Boy heading into the foray as India’s official entry among the 91 international films in the race. South Korean blockbuster Parasite however came out on top, going on to create history by also scoring the first non-English film to win ‘Best Picture’.

Films in the ‘International Feature’ entry are produced outside the US with a predominantly non-English dialogue track and can include animated and documentary features.

In a transition towards inclusivity, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) have invited Bollywood stars Alia Bhatt and Hrithik Roshan to join the 819 artistes and executives on their panel.

As members, they will get to vote across categories for the upcoming 93rd Academy Awards set to take place on April 25, 2021.

The show was originally set to be held on February 28, but was postponed in line with the pandemic pattern of the year.

In a welcome change, films that were made available through a commercial SVoD service may now qualify for consideration, as the coronavirus forced the cancellation of several theatrical releases — the original rules had made this criteria mandatory.

[Sourced from Agencies]