Malayalam film about a hunt for a bull on the run, Jallikattu is India’s entry to the Oscars in 2021. Released in Kerala in October 2019, Jallikattu was premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival and the Busan International Film Festival in South Korea, where it received critical acclaim. Pellissery won the best director award at the 50th International Film Festival of India for the film.
Speaking with Spotboye, Rahul Rawail, the head of the jury at the Film Federation of India mentioned that good movies are being made in different languages and the jury selected Jallikattu because it ‘connects with every culture’. “After viewing many films in many Indian languages we found Jallikattu to satisfy all the requirements for eligibility. It is a film with deep roots in our culture. But it is also a universal story on the dehumanization of mankind when the beast within surfaces. In that sense, it’s a story that connects with every culture. It’s also technically very sophisticated,” he said.
“It’s a superb choice not just because it is beautifully directed but also because it’s one of the most unique films in recent times; the one-line premise itself is exciting, and that might draw people. Plus, it’s unlike films that are usually sent as entries in the foreign film category, which are all dramas,” film critic Baradwaj Rangan said.
Jallikattu contested against The Disciple, Is Love Enough, Sir, Shikara, Chhappak, Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl, Bulbbul, Serious Men, Shakuntala Devi, Chhlaang and Gulabo Sitabo and emerged a winner.