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Why was Malayalam film Jallikattu considered the Indian Oscar entry for 2021, ignoring other masterpieces like Gulabo Sitabo and Chapaak?

With the Oscar 2021 nominations around the corner, all the film industries are sending in their entries, hoping to make a mark. India is no far behind. The Oscars 2021, which are supposed to be held in April, have set things in motion. People are getting ready for the show, but we can assure you that it won’t be grand, keeping the whole coronavirus situation in mind.

This does not mean that the juries all around the world won’t be picky in choosing that one film that could bring fame to the whole nation. Similarly, in India, after much thought and discussion, the Malayalam hit Jallikattu was sent in as the official entry from India on Wednesday.

Under the direction of Lijo Jose Pellissery, the film is all about how a bull escapes a slaughterhouse and has hunters and village men trying to hunt him down and kill him. Now we have Rahul Rawail telling us why he chose this film in particular. He also talked about all the film selections and only why Jallikattu will be one of the best movies which will be able to represent human values on a global platform.

When reviewing the selections made last year, it was Zoya Akhtar’s GullyBoy that made it to the Academy Awards. Jallikattu is the third Malayalam film to be chosen after Guru(1997) and Adaminte Makan Abu (2011) to be representing the country’s cinema. The director, Lijo, said that it was a great honor for him. Jallikattu is most likely to make a mark at the Oscars after Lagaan in 2001. Before this, Mother India had already set the ground in 1997.

indian movies in oscars south movies become second most official entry to  oscar from india after bollywood - after hindi most south films were sent  to oscar, this time south film jalikattu

The director of Adaminte Makan Abu said that Jallikattu had the potential to impress the judges under the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, who are in fact responsible for shortlisting the pictures for the Oscars. He further added that after seeing many of the winners and nominations for the Oscars, he deeply felt that Jallikattu was the only movie that could impress them.

It is rooted in the Indian culture and represents India in every sense, while he said that the films nominated earlier in the past years had not kept their roots to the country.

It is true that the task to select a particular movie was a difficult one as it had brilliant movies to choose from. The job was massive on the shoulders of the committee of the Film Federation of India, which comprises fourteen members.

The selection was made out of 26 films, namely Shakuntala Devi, Gulabo Sitabo, Chippa, Chhalaang, The Disciple, Shikara, Bittersweet, The Sky is Pink, Gunjan Saxena, Is Love Enough, Sir, Moothon, Kalira Atita, Bulbul, Bhavai, AK Vs. AK, Chhapaak, Bhonsle, Serious Men, I Pad, Kaamyaab, Chintu Ka Birthday, The Check Post, Web Allay Ooo, Bahattar Hoorian, Atkin Chatkan, and Malang. It was a difficult job, yet they manage to pick a winner amongst all of these.

Speaking about the movie, Rawail said that there were indeed good pictures which were made in many different languages, but this one especially connected with everyone correctly. He said after viewing various aspects and criteria, the movie outshined everything.

Lijo Jose Pellissery's 'Jallikattu is India's entry for the foreign  language film Oscar category

After all, where else would you find a move which is rooted to the country and also shows the universal story of dehumanization of mankind, which may seem perfectly okay on the surface but has a beast within themselves? He further added that apart from connecting with everyone, the movie is very sophisticated within itself.

The head of the federation, Rawail, also explained that the jury did not want to send any mainstream film for the nominations like Chapaak and Gulabo sitabo, but thought Jallikattu was the most worthy of all. He said that every filmmaker has the right to send their movies for consideration, thinking about the fact that they are the ones who created that particular movie. But it is solely at the discretion of the jury to select whether or not the film is worth it all or not.

And as repeatedly being said, it was the year for Jallikattu, and they could moreover see all the reason for it to be.

Jallikattu was first premiered at the Toronto International film festival, where it earned cheers and applauses for the magnificent performance. It was also screened later at the Busan International Film festival and was the host of the other significant events. It is a critically acclaimed film that stars Antony Varghese, Chemnban Vinod Jose, Sabumon Abdusamad, and Santhy Balachandran, among many others.

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