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Proud moment for Malayalam cinema

Lijo Jose Pellissery, Chemban Vinod Jose bag awards at 49th IFFI held in Goa

What Lijo Jose Pellissery and Chemban Vinod Jose achieved at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), which concluded at Panaji on Wednesday, was remarkable. To win the awards for the best director and actor, pushing behind outstanding talents from across the world is no mean achievement.

It is also further endorsement that Malayalam cinema is on the right track. Ee.Ma.Yau, the film that won both Lijo and Chemban their awards, shows how well Malayalam cinema has adapted to the highest international standards.

Ee.Ma.Yau, which brilliantly portrays a death and funeral in a village, was one of the six Malayalam films selected for the Panorama section of the IFFI. Then it became one of the only three Indian films that entered the international competition section.

15 films

Of the 15 films in competition, only three were from India. And two of those three spoke Malayalam. Bhayanakam, directed by Jayaraj, was the other.

Lijo, who made his debut with Nayakan in 2010, did not take long to earn a reputation as one of the young directors to watch out for. He showed he had great control on his craft with films like Amen and Angamali Diaries.

“Lijo has made Malayalam cinema proud by becoming the best director at the IFFI,” Pradeep Nair, a national award-winning director and regular delegate at the IFFI, told The Hindu. “It is no mean task to impress an experienced international jury.” Pradeep said that Lijo had surprised him with Ee.Ma.Yau, although he was impressed with some of his earlier films. “You could see a lot of obvious influences in his earlier films, but in Ee.Ma.Yau, he showed that he could become completely original,” he said. “He has grown tremendously as a director.”

Growth as an actor

Like Lijo, Chemban, who had debuted in Nayakan, too has grown as an actor. There is an effortlessness and naturalness about his acting, which could be seen in films like Sapthamashree Thaskaraha, North 24 Kaatham, Iyyobinte Pusthaka and Tamaar Padaar.

It is interesting to note that his first major award for acting has come at an international festival. A year ago, Parvathy was adjudged the best actress at the same festival, for Take Off.

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