Veyil Marangal, directed by Dr Biju, has received the Outstanding Artistic Achievement Award at the Shanghai International Film Festival, one of the largest fests in East Asia. A photo of the director with his actors Prakash Bare and Indrans and producer Baby Mathew Somatheeram, being given the red carpet welcome at the festival, has been circulating online.
“Yes we got that and ours was the only Indian film in the main competition for the Golden Goblet Award,” says Prakash Bare who has come back to India before the others. All of them will reach the international airport in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday night where they will be given a reception.
This is the tenth film made by Dr Biju, whose movies have won several international recognitions and National and State awards before. Veyil Marangal is about a Dalit family from Kerala that moves to Himachal Pradesh, after being affected by a natural disaster. In Himachal, where they work in apple orchards, they still face the wrath of nature with severe climatic conditions. “There is no drama. The caste issue is shown subtly. The natural disasters that affect them at both the places just add to their misery,” Prakash says.
The jury chairperson at the Shanghai Fest was the Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan who has been to the International Film Festival of Kerala in 2014. “His style of filmmaking is similar to that of Biju’s in that they are both very subtle. Indian filmmaker Rajkumar Hirani was another jury member.”
Indrans plays the protagonist in Veyil Marangal while Prakash too has an important role to play. Dr Biju’s film Painting Life, in which Prakash plays the lead, was screened at the South and Southeast Asia Film Festival in China around the same time. The film, about a film crew stranded in a remote Himalayan village, was screened at the IFFK last year.