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It is the only Indian film to feature under the main competition category at the MIFF, along with 13 other international films.

Rima Kallingal and Jithin Puthenchery are seen inside a car and are seen talking to each other.Screengrab
Flix Mollywood Saturday, April 24, 2021 - 12:02

After winning praises from fans and garnering critical acclaim, Malayalam film Santhoshathinte Onnam Rahasyam has been selected under the main competition category of Moscow International Film Festival (MIFF). It is the only Indian film out of the 14 films that are contesting under the category.  

Helmed by director Don Palathara, the movie stars actors Rima Kallingal and Jithin Puthenchery in the lead roles. Santhoshinte Onnam  Rahasyam was lauded as one of the most experimental films in the history of Malayalam cinema, since the movie is completely shot inside a car, with the camera fixed on the dashboard. It premiered at the International Film Festival of Kerala on February 21.  

The film revolves around its two lead characters; Maria, an entertainment reporter and her boyfriend Jitin, a small-time actor who does not have a steady source of income. The movie starts with the couple on the way to a clinic to find out if Maria is pregnant. Burdened by the threat of an unplanned pregnancy, the plot focuses solely on the relationship, taking the audience along for a gripping ride. 

Interestingly, the 1972 Malayalam film Swayamvaram, which marked the directorial debut of notable filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan, was screened in the competition category of the festival in 1973. 

The five-member jury for the category of the main competition includes Filipino director Brillante Mendoza, who is also the chairman, actor Miloš Biković from Russia, director Karim Aïnouz from Brazil, director & writer Nigina Sayfulaeva from Russia, and composer Yuri Poteenko from Russia. 

Entries are selected under three main categories, namely the main competition, documentary competition and short film competition. As per tradition, the festival also screens an opening and closing film. This year, the Russian film Devyataev has been chosen as the opening film, while the French-Finnish music film Café of My Memories (Le Café De Mes Souvenirs) has been selected as the closing film. A number of other movies are also being screened at the festival but aren’t part of the competition. Odia movie Adieu Godar, directed by filmmaker Amartya Bhattacharya, will also be screened at the event.  

Popular as one of the world’s oldest film forums, the 43rd edition of the film festival is being held between April 22 and 29th this year. The first edition of the film festival was started in 1935. Master filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein was chairman of the jury in its opening edition. 

While the physical event is taking place in Moscow, the festival is also hosting online screenings and events for filmmakers who might not be able to attend the event in person due to travel bans and quarantine requirements. 

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