It is needless to say that over the years Malayalam cinema has grown leaps and bounds in terms of its unique concepts and great storytelling. Not only India but now the world too is taking notice of great Malayalam films made one after another and it seems that more and more people around the world are in awe with these gems coming out of Malayalam film industry.
Today the heartening news about Malyalam cinema is that prestigious The 75th Locarno Film Festival has chosen a Malayalam film ‘Airippu’ (Declaration) in the international competition section for the first time in the history of the festival. ”Ariyippu’ is the first Malayalam film which will be showcased in main competition section of the festival held since its inception 75 years ago. The 75th Locarno Film Festival will open on 3rd August, 2022 and the official announcement regarding ‘Airiyipu’s selection will be made on 6th of July. Notably, it is also the first Indian film to be selected in the main competition section after 17 long years.
Set in the pandemic stricken times in Noida, a struggling Malayali couple nurture the dream of migrating out of the country for a better life. A sensitive and manipulated video clip is circulated amongst the co-workers of the factory where the couple work. It unleashes unexpected emotional, social and marital imbalances in their relationship.
‘Ariyippu’ has been written, directed and edited by Mahesh Narayanan and it stars Kunchacko Boban and Divya Prabha and the star cast is well supported by renowned stage and film actors like Lovleen Misra, Danish Hussain, Faisal Malik and Kannan Arunachalam. Talking about the selection of his film director Mahesh Narayanan said, “It is really an honour to be selected to the international competition section of such a prestigious film festival. I have tried to stay true and honest in finding a different cinematic idiom to tell this story and I now feel grateful that it has been rewarded”.
Actor-producer Kunchacko Boban has a special reason to rejoice as his family film production company Udaya Pictures, founded and ran by his grandfather and father completes 75 years and now his latest production from the banner is selected at The 75th Locarno Film Festival. He said, “It indeed is a personal honour for me as well and a tribute to my grandfather and my father who carried the legacy of making great Malyalam films throughout these years.” Expressing his gratitude he further said, “I thank and I am really grateful to my dear friend, writer, co-producer and director Mahesh Narayanan, co-producer Shebin Backer and the entire team of ‘Ariyippu’ for being part of such a beautiful and unforgettable journey.”
‘Ariyippu’ will be the first Indian film in international competition of the festival since bengali film ‘Antarmahal’ by Rituparno Ghosh was showcased there in 2005. The last Malayalam film screened at Locarno was veteran filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s ‘Nizhlkkuthu” as a special showcase in 2011.