XYZ Films announces that they will partner with Drafthouse Films for a North American co-release of JALLIKATTU, India’s Oscar entry for Best International Feature Film for 2020. The film, directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery, is an Indian Malayalam-language action film with a screenplay by S. Hareesh and R. Jayakumar, based on the short story Maoist by Hareesh. The film stars Antony Varghese, Chemban Vinod Jose, Sabumon Abdusamad and Santhy Balachandran. JALLIKATTU is produced by O Thomas Panicker, and executive produced by Naushad Salahudin and Guneet Monga (The Lunchbox) alongside XYZ Films. XYZ and Drafthouse are planning on a spring release which will include theatrical support as well as all digital platforms and Blu-ray editions of the film.
JALLIKATTU originally premiered on September 6, 2019 at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival and received widespread critical acclaim, sitting with a 95% on Rotten Tomatoes rating best represented by Indian Express critic Shubtra Gupta who stated: “JALLIKATTU is exhilarating, and I am still all shook up.” Lijo Jose Pellissery received the Best Director trophy at the 50th International Film Festival of India.
Two weeks later the film had its US premiere at Fantastic Fest and was programmed and discovered by Josh Hurtado who covers South Asia as a member of the Fantastic Fest booking team. JALLIKATTU was a huge hit at the festival and was subsequently booked at select Alamo Drafthouse theaters. Drafthouse Films is re-entering the marketplace to support incredible emerging filmmakers like Lijo Jose Pellissery. The co-release of JALLIKATTU with XYZ is the first new title for Drafthouse Films since 2016.
JALLIKATTU follows the catastrophic events that unfold when a butcher’s buffalo escapes and runs amok through a remote village in the hill ranges of Kerala. The local men’s quest to take down the deadly bull quickly unleashes their vile primal instincts. As the boundaries between man and beast disasppear, the hunt crescendos into a senseless and self-destructive frenzy of violence.
“The film blew us away because it felt like it was beamed in from another dimension and left a permanent imprint on our brain,” said Drafthouse Films.
DHF has three nominations in its library: BULLHEAD (Foreign Language), THE ACT OF KILLING (Documentary) and THE LOOK OF SILENCE (Documentary). XYZ has worked on many past International Oscar entries, ranging from UNDER THE SHADOW (UK) to VIVA (Ireland), THE DEAD LANDS (New Zealand) and THE LONG WALK, the first ever Oscar entry from Laos.
XYZ also has over a decade of involvement in international, foreign language productions ranging from THE RAID / THE RAID 2 (Indonesia), Netflix original THE NIGHT COMES FOR US (Indonesia), ON THE JOB (Philippines), this year’s Netflix hit THE PLATFORM (Spain), SPUTNIK (Russia), WOLF (The Netherlands), BIG BAD WOLVES (Israel) and NUMBER 37 and FIVE FINGERS FOR MARSEILLES (S. Africa).