The 42nd edition of the prestigious Moscow International Film Festival (MIFF) will hold the world premiere of 1956, Central Travancore, the new Malayalam film written and directed by Don Palathara. The festival, which was originally supposed to happen in April, was postponed due to the pandemic. It will now run from October 1st to 8th.
The film will be premiering at the non-competitive section of the film festival, which is one of the oldest film festivals in the world accredited by FIAPF (International Federation of Film Producers Associations).
In an introduction to the film, Kirill Razlagov, the programming director of MIFF, mentions that “the black-and-white 1956, Madhyathiruvithamkoor by the refined Don Palathara reminds us of the deeprooted spiritual connections between India and Russia.”
1956, Central Travancore tells the story of two brothers Kora and Onan who are early migrants to Idukki. The film progresses through the journey of these men who are very dissimilar but united by a common purpose.
To depict the time and space of the story, the film employs not only the cinematic techniques that convey the psyche of the people from that period but also the music, arts, belief systems, stories and lifestyles.
Assif Yogi and Jain Andrews play the central characters of Kora and Onan, respectively. The film was produced by Abhilash Kumar, under the banner of Artbeats Studios. He has previously co-written several popular films such as 22 Female Kottayam, Da Thadiya, and Gangster. Jesna Ashim is the executive producer.
The film also features Kani Kusruti, Shaun Romy and Krishnan Balakrishnan.
The camera is handled by Dubai-based cinematographer Alex Joseph, and the location sound-recording done by the state award-winning team of Sandeep Madhavam and Jiji Joseph.
While the editing was done by Don Palathara himself, the music was composed and organised by Basil C J.
It was shot mostly in the forests of Kerala and Tamilnadu along with some other locations in Idukki.
Don’s previous critically acclaimed films, Shavam and Vith, were also shot in black and white. Previously, Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s Swayamvaram and Venu’s Munnariyippu had the honour of being screened at MIFF. Even though the cast and crew would not be able to attend the festival due to the pandemic, the festival will be holding a virtual interaction with the director after the physical screening. The film was earlier selected to the Recommends section of the NFDC Film Bazaar that happened in December 2019.