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Malayalam film Sexy Durga wins the Hivor Tiger at Rotterdam 


The film by Sanal Kumar Sasidharan follows the tale of a couple hitchhiking their way on a dark sinister night. The film has become the first Indian feature to win big at the prestigious ceremony. 

Shriram Iyengar

Malayalam filmmaker Sanal Kumar Sasidharan's Sexy Durga has won the highest prize at the Rotterdam International Film Festival. The film, Sasidharan's third feature film, premiered at the festival on 27 January, and was awarded the Hivor Tiger award for Best Feature Film. 

A road movie, Sexy Durga is a tale of a couple hitchhiking their way on a dark night. The film was awarded the prize for its 'daring and resourceful approach' according to the jury report. The report reads, "For its daring and resourceful approach in creating a mood of constant tension. The particular use of the camera and acting give a sense of immediacy and momentum, while providing an insight into multi-layered power dynamics of gender, class and authority." 

Dedicating the film to Malayalam and independent cinema, Sasidharan said, "This is for the team Sexy Durga. This is for Malayalam independent cinema." 

Speaking to Cinestaan.com, Sasidharan had claimed "Sexy Durga is actually a film about men, and the central part belongs to a woman." 

Sexy Durga also becomes the first Indian film to win the big prize at the Rotterdam International Film Festival. Set up in 1995, the award seeks to find, promote and encourage budding international film talent. The award is accompanied by a $40,000 cash prize (Rs29 lakh) to be divided between the director and producer of the film.