'Better late than never': Director Geetha on 'Run Kalyani' being featured at New York Indian Film Festival
If Geetha was a tad bit disappointed when Run Kalyani was not chosen at the 24th IFFK 2019, she is now thrilled that her film has evoked keen interest at the New York Indian Film Festival.
Geetha, writer-director of Run Kalyani, is on cloud nine after her debut Malayalam feature premiered at the prestigious New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF). Her joy knew no bounds when it was nominated for best film, best director, and best actress at the NYIFF. As Geetha is based in Thiruvananthapuram and unable to fly due to the pandemic situation, she will be honoured on August 2 in a virtual award ceremony.
If Geetha was a tad bit disappointed when Run Kalyani was not chosen at the 24th IFFK 2019, she is now thrilled that her film has evoked keen interest among the connoisseurs of cinema at the NYIFF.
The premiere was followed by a conversation between Geetha and Shashi Tharoor MP. Geetha said she is thrilled that Run Kalyani was the opening film at the oldest and prestigious Indian festival abroad, and consider it an honour to be nominated for three awards. “It has been a rough ride for us but like Kalyani, we keep going forward.” When she means “us”, she is indeed referring to the film’s crew comprising Garggi Ananthan (who plays the main protagonist), Meera Nair, Manoj Menon, and others aside from cinematographer Madhu Neelakandan, editor B. Ajith Kumar, and creative producer Ian McDonald who is also her husband.
Run Kalyani was premiered at Kolkata International Film Festival in November 2019, where it won the Special Jury Award. It was also screened under the competition section at the Bangalore International Film Festival and International Film Festival of Thrissur, where it won the FIPRESCI-India award. It is also listed in the Top 20 Indian films of 2019 voted by FIPRESCI-India. Its preview screening at Soorya’s Ganesham, parallel to the 24th IFFK 2019, was met with tremendous applause. An artistic film that has induced curiosity, it also got support from other eminent figures like M A Baby, A R Rahman, Vidya Balan, and Manju Warrier amongst others.
Geetha has collaborated with multi-award winning documentary filmmaker Ian McDonald on all his works, most notably the internationally acclaimed Grierson-nominated feature documentary, Algorithms (2012), about young blind chess players from India. The latest in a long series with Ian as director and Geetha as producer is Who Is Europe? (2018), a split-screen docu that questions what Europe is and who belongs to it. This follows their highly successful Freedom (2017), a four-screen film installation on the radical legacy of Martin Luther King.
Geetha and Ian make films that confront the political and the personal with their unique take on a subject, humanity of treatment, and an unusual visual richness. Their films have been screened at film festivals, galleries, academic conferences, campaign-meetings and in cinemas around the world. Geetha shuttles between her home town Thiruvananthapuram and Newcastle, UK where she lectures on Film Practice at Film@CultureLab.