THIRUVANANTHAPURAM /KOCHI:A total of 26 Indian feature films, including four Malayalam films, have been selected to the Indian Panorama.
Priyamanasam, the third film made in Sanskrit after around two decades, will be the inaugural film at the International Film Festival of India - 2015 to be held in Goa on November 21. The film has been directed by Malayali director Vinod Mankara.
‘Ottaal’ directed by Jayaraj, ‘Ain’ by Sidharth Shiva, ‘Valiya Chirakulla Pakshikal’ by Dr Biju and ‘Lukka Chuppi’ by Bash Mohammed are the Malayalam films selected to the Indian Panorama. ‘Ore Udal’ directed by Asha Achy Joseph in Malayalam is among the 21 non-feature films selected to the Panorama.
Among the languages, Malayalam and Marathi, with four films each, came third. Hindi with five films came second, while Bengali with seven films topped the list. One film each from Kannada, Tamil, Konkani, Wanchoo, Bodo and Sanskrit are also there in the Panorama.
‘Ottal’, an adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s ‘Vanka’, delves into the life of child labourers in Sivakasy. While ‘Lukka Chuppi’ is a humorous family drama, ‘Ain’ is woven around a youngster’s sudden changes in life. Dr Biju’s ‘Valiya Chirakulla Pakshikal,’ a film inspired by real-life incidents, focuses on the endosulfan issue.
The film festival, scheduled to be held in Goa from November 20 to 30, will showcase 187 films from 89 countries in the world cinema section. The Kingdom of Spain is the focus country of IFFI 2015. The films of master Spanish filmmakers Carlos Saura and Pedro Almadovar, along with contemporary filmmakers like Alejandro Amenabar, will be screened at the festival. The section will also feature Spanish actress Leticia Dolera’s directorial debut ‘Requirements to be a Normal Person.’ ‘The Man who Knew Infinity,’ written and directed by Matthew Brown, will be the opening film of this year’s festival. Anil Kapoor will be the chief guest at the opening ceremony. The international competition will have 15 films, including two films from the Indian Panorama section. The jury for the international competition includes chairperson Shekhar Kapur, along with Michael Radford, Julia Jentsch, Suha Arraf and Jeon Kyu-Hwan.
Film on Unnayi Warrier
Depicting the life of 17-century Malayali poet-scholar Unnayi Warrier, the 90-minute film Priyamanasam revolves around the mental conflicts and agonies experienced by Warrier while penning his magnum opus ‘Nalacharitham Aattakkatha’. Incidentally, the first ever Sanskrit film was also made on the life of a great personality from Kerala - Shankaracharya. It was directed by G V Iyer, the only person other than Vinod Mankara who has made movies in Sanskrit. ‘Adi Shankaracharya’ (1983) won four National Awards, including Best Film, Screenplay, Cinematography and Audiography. Iyer’s most critically acclaimed film was ‘Bhagavad Gita’ (1993), which won the National Award for Best Feature Film.
Director Slams Min, Shaji N Karun
Director Vinod Mankara came down heavily on Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishanan and filmmaker Shaji N Karun for not selecting his film Priyamanasam for IFFK-2015. He asked the State Government to ‘open its eyes’ to the deterioration of the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy due to lack of professionalism in administration.
“This is a befitting honour for the first feature film in Sanskrit made after 22 years. The film, along with 25 other films, was selected by a 13-member jury. The film was considered for its historical message as well as its merit. The film was made with the goal of propagating the beauty of Sanskrit language. When the film was well received at the national and international level, it was rejected in Kerala. A jury, comprising members who do not have excellence in filmmaking, selected films for the IFFK.
I am dedicating this honour to Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishanan and Shaji N Karun, urging them to see the real picture ‘after cleaning their looking glasses,’ Vinod Mankara posted on his Facebook page.