Malayalam film ‘2018’ has been selected as India’s official entry to the Academy Awards 2024, the Film Federation of India announced on Wednesday.
Directed by Jude Anthany Joseph, the film is about the floods that wreaked havoc in the southern Indian state of Kerala in 2018. It follows the story of people from all walks of life who strive to survive the calamity.
‘2018’ (also known as 2018: Everyone is a Hero) was released in May 2023 and stars Vineeth Sreenivasan, Asif Ali, Lal, Tovino Thomas, Narain and Kunchacko Boban. It will compete at the Academy Awards for Best International Feature Film.
Girish Kasaravalli, filmmaker and chairman of the selection committee, said in a press conference that ‘2018’ was chosen as India’s official Oscar entry for its relevant theme on climate change and the travails of people vis-a-vis what has been understood as development in society, reported Indian news agency Press Trust Of India.
The 16-member selection committee considered 22 films in different languages, including Bollywood movies like The Kerala Story, Rocky Aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani, and Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway, Balagam (Telugu), Marathi films Vaalvi and Baaplyok, and August 16, 1947 (Tamil).
According to the makers, the film amassed more than Rs1,000 million globally within ten days of its release. “We are extremely proud and thankful to all our audiences for watching and supporting us to achieve this milestone. Apart from the collection figures, it’s your warmth and love that keeps us moving.. THANK YOU ALL,” Kavya Film Company, which co-produced 2018, said in a statement reported by The Indian Express.
In Kerala, ‘2018’ had emerged as the highest-grossing Malayalam film ever, beating the record of blockbuster Baahubali 2: The Conclusion, reported Manorama.
At the 95th Academy Awards, the infectious song Naatu Naatu of SS Rajamouli’s film RRR won the Best Original Song award. Indian documentary The Elephant Whisperers also bagged the Oscar for Best Documentary Short Subject.