India's official entry in the Best International Feature category at the 93rd Academy Awards, Jallikattu, is out of the Oscars 2021 race. The hope, however, continues for the country with short film Bittu advancing to the next round in Best Live Action Short Film segment.
Malayalam-language movie directed by filmmaker Lijo Jose Pellissery, Jallikattu, is not part of the shortlist of 15 features that will be vying for a spot in the final five, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) announced on February 9.
Thomas Vinterberg's Another Round, starring Mads Mikkelson, has made it to shortlist that also includes Andrei Konchalovsky's Dear Comrades! (Russia), Agnieszka Holland's Charlatan (Czech Republic) and two documentaries - The Mole Agent from Chile and Collectivefrom Romania.
The other contenders are Quo Vadis, Aida? (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Two of Us (France), La Llorona (Guatemala), Better Days (Hong Kong), Sun Children (Iran), Night of the Kings (Ivory Coast), I'm No Longer Here (Mexico), Hope (Norway), A Sun (Taiwan) and The Man Who Sold His Skin (Tunisia).
Films from 93 countries were eligible in the category.
In the nominations round, the Academy members from all branches are invited to opt-in to participate and must view all 15 shortlisted films in order to cast a ballot.
Based on the short story Maoist by Hareesh, Jallikattu stars Antony Varghese, Chemban Vinod Jose, Sabumon Abdusamad, and Santhy Balachandran. The film premiered on September 6, 2019 at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival and received widespread critical acclaim.
While Jallikattu is out of the race, Karishma Dev Dube-directed Bittu has made it to the Best Live Action Short Film shortlist for the Oscars. The movie is part of 10 film shortlist that also include Da Yie, Feeling Through, The Human Voice, The Kicksled Choir, The Letter Room, The Present, Two Distant Strangers, The Van and White Eye.
Based on a true story, Bittu is a short film about a close friendship between two girls, eclipsed by an accident at their school.
Bittu is presented by Indian Women Rising (IWR), a cinema collective that was recently formed by filmmakers Ekta Kapoor, Guneet Monga, Tahira Kashyap Khurrana, and Ruchikaa Kapoor.
The final nominations for the Academy Awards will be announced on March 15.
(With Inputs from PTI)