KOCHI: Malayalam movie ‘Run Kalyani, the debut feature fiction film by Geetha J, which was rejected at the 24th International Film Festival of Kerala (December 6-12), has won the Special Jury Award at the just-concluded Kolkata International Film Festival.
Geetha received the award from West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Bannerjee in the presence of Chief Guest Shabana Azmi at the glittering closing ceremony on Friday.
Run Kalyani is the only Malayalam film to win an award at KIFF 2019.
This gently beguiling debut feature fiction from Geetha is a poetic and realist drama about duties, dreams and desires that draws you into the world of Kalyani.
Kalyani is a young cook who lives with her ailing aunt and a young man in a rundown ‘agraharam’ in Thiruvananthapuram. Each day is the same as she carries on with her life of duty as a cook and carer. But each day is not the same too. As the romance of poetry ignites a passion, as the stories of other worlds stir a desire, as sharks close in and death draws near, ‘Run Kalyani’ builds into an intense crescendo of grief and grit, sorrow and strength.
The award for Geeta’s directorial venture also brings to focus the controversy over the rejection of several critically-acclaimed films by IFFK 2019 that has 14 Malayalam films and six debut films and no woman filmmaker in its Malayalam Cinema Today section. Last week, a group comprising eight indie film directors approached the Kerala High Court challenging the decision of the selection committee of IFFK to reject their feature films.
Under the banner of ‘Reform the IFFK’, the group of filmmakers alleged that the Kerala Chalachitra Academy is not watching all the films before rejecting them and choosing popular films in this section. Leading independent filmmaker Sanal Kumar Sasidharan last month announced his decision to withdraw his movie ‘Chola’ from IFFK.
The eight filmmakers who moved Kerala High Court last week are Santhosh Bahusenan, Vinod Krishna, Sajas Rahman, Satish Babusenan, Venu Nair, Siddique Paravur, and Prathap Joseph. Filmmaker Rajesh Touchriver and activist Sunitha Krishnan also alleged that the Chalachitra Academy rejected their movie ‘Raktham’ without even watching it.