After the Telugu film industry, the Malayalam industry is now finally making India proud as Tovino Thomas’ superhit Malayalam film ‘2018’ has been selected as India’s official entry to Oscars 2024. The film was a blockbuster hit when it was released in the theaters.
The news of ‘2018’ getting picked was announced by filmmaker Girish Kasaravalli, chairman of the Film Federation of India’s (FFI) selection committee. He mentioned how the film was selected because of its theme of climate change and the challenges people face amid the ongoing development in society. FFI President Ravi Kottarakara added that a 16-member selection committee led by Kasaravalli screened films, as reported by news agency PTI.
The list of 22 films which were screened included Sudipto Sen’s ‘The Kerala Story’, Ranveer Singh and Alia Bhatt-starrer ‘Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani’, and Rani Mukherjee’s ‘Mrs Chatterjee vs Norway’ (Hindi) along with ‘Balagam’ (Telugu); ‘Vaalvi’, ‘Baaplyok’ (Marathi), and ‘August 16, 1947’ (Tamil). Finally, Tovino Thomas’ superhit film ‘2018’ was chosen from the lot.
Meanwhile, after India's official entry to Oscars 2024 was confirmed, the film’s actor Kunchacko Boban told India Today, "It's a moment of pride for us. It was wonderful shooting for it and the film broke all records. Globally, 2018 was lauded by people and broke many milestones. It documented the emotions of the people, which is why it was relatable to many. Since it is a real story, it managed to reach a wider audience," Boban said.
He added that the film is not just the story, but it is technically strong as well. “It is a film that deserves the honour. I can't explain my happiness right now. 2018 is a film that deserves to be placed in the Oscars 2024 race," he said.
For those caught unaware, since Aamir Khan’s ‘Lagaan’ in 2002, no other Indian film has been nominated for the Best International Feature Film category at the Oscars.
Last year, India’s official entry to the Oscars was ‘Chhello Show’ but it could not make it to the nominees list. Albeit, the Indian cinema roared at Oscars last year as RRR’s foot-tapping number ‘Naatu Naatu’ won the Oscars for the Best Original Song while Guneet Monga-backed ‘The Elephant Whisperers’ took the top honour in the Best Documentary Short Subject category.
Coming to ‘2018’, the film directed by Jude Anthony Joseph, is a survival drama based on the 2018 Kerala floods that devastated Kerala. It stars Tovino Thomas, Aparna Balamurali, Tanvi Ram, Kunchacko Boban, Asif Ali, Vineeth Sreenivasan, Narain and Lal in key roles, and soon became the highest earning Malayalam film of all time.