Fahadh Faasil’s Malik to be screened at Rotterdam international film festival

Other Indian films including ‘Chavittu’ and ‘Harbour’ have also been selected for the 51st edition of the IFFR, scheduled to take place online between January 26 and February 6.
Fahadh Faasil in a screengrab from Malik
Fahadh Faasil in a screengrab from Malik
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The Fahadh Faasil and Nimisha Sajayan starrer Malik, which premiered on Over-the-Top (OTT) platform Amazon Prime Video in 2021, has been selected for the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) 2022. The 51st edition of the festival is scheduled to take place online between January 26 to February 6, and is being held online for the second consecutive year. Over 200 films have been chosen as festival selections and will be screened during the festival.

Helmed by CU Soon fame director Mahesh Narayan, the Malayalam film Malik tracks the life of Ali Sulaiman, the ‘godfather’ of Ramadally, a small coastal town in Kerala where Muslims and Christians live together. He gains clout after working his way up through smuggling, and subsequently doing charitable work. While he prepares to go on a pilgrimage, he is arrested on suspicion of murder of a competitor. The arrest sets in motion a chain of violent events. 

Malik gives insight not only into the local mafia in India, but also into this country dominated by corruption, religious fanaticism, and die-hard traditions. Moreover, the film illuminates complex family relationships, friendship, and opportunism. The epic drama, told in a non-linear narrative, is loosely based on a real riot in Beemapally, possibly instigated by the police, in which many people lost their lives at the hands of the police,” the description of the film’s plot in IFFR website. Malik will be screened as a part of the festival's Harbour segment, which, according to its website, offers a broad range of contemporary cinema.

Other Indian films such as Gurvinder Singh’s Crescent Night and Malayalam film Chavittu directed by Sajas Rahman and Shinos Rahman, have also been selected under the same category. Set in Kerala, Chavittu focuses on a theatre company as they gear up for their performances during festivals.

The festival’s Tiger Competition, a segment dedicated for emerging talents, includes Mahajan’s debut film The Cloud Messenger which revolves around Jaivardhana, a 16-year-old school boy, who struggles to thrive in the authoritarian environment of his school. However, the situation changes when Jaivardhana meets a new student, Tarini, at a photography workshop. 

Director Rajeev Ravi, who is best known for Mollywood films like Annayum Rasoolum and Kamatti Paadam, is part of the IFFR’s Big Screen Competition segment, with his film Harbour, which reflects on the caste struggle in Kerala during 1940s. The Cinema Regained section, which showcases restored classics and documentaries on film culture, has Mani Kaul’s 1973 film Duvidha and Geetika Narang Abbasi’s documentary Urf. 

Tanmay Chowdhary and Tanu Chowdhary’s short film Madhu and Sohil Vaidya’s Murmurs of the Jungle have made it to the short and mid-length segment of the festival, while Krishnendu Kalesh’s sci-fi drama Hawk’s Muffin has been selected for the Bright Future segment of IFFR.  

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