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International Film Festival Rotterdam to highlight Tamil cinema

Ram Subramaniam's Peranbu (2018), starring Mammootty and Anjali, will have its world premiere at the festival.

Still from Maanagaram

Sonal Pandya

The International Film Festival Rotterdam will showcase the politically engaged cinema from Tamil Nadu in their 'House of Fire' section. The 47th edition of the European festival will be held from 24 January to 4 February 2018.

The special section will host 11 Tamil films that to show how politics has influenced films and its makers in the Indian state.

Ram Subramaniam's Kattradhu Thamizh (2007) and Taramani (2017); Bala's Naan Kadavul (2009) and Paradesi (2013); Nalan Kumarasamy's Soodhu Kavvum (2013), starring Vijay Sethupathi; Balaji Mohan's Vaayai Moodi Pesavum (2014); Karthik Subbaraj's Jigarthanda (2014); RS Durai Senthilkumar's Kodi (2016), starring Dhanush; Aviyal (2016), an independent anthology by six directors, and Lokesh Kanagaraj's Maanagaram (2017) have been selected under the section.

Filmmaker Aditya Vikram Sengupta's Bengali film Jonaki, starring Jim Sarbh and Lolita Chatterjee; and Kannada film Thithi (2015) writer Eregowda’s directorial debut Balekempa will also be screened at the festival, while the upcoming Tamil-Malayalam bilingual Peranbu (2018), starring Mammootty and Anjali, will have its world premiere at the festival.

Lolita Chatterjee, Jim Sarbh's Jonaki to have world premiere at Rotterdam film fest

Olaf Möller, who helped curate the section, said the films that emerged in the last decade are “defined by a deep-seated anger and anguish rooted as much in a sense of local politics running on empty and getting more corrupt by the day, as it is in the very slow subversion of the comparatively enlightened modern Tamil way of life.”

"Nothing in the rest of India’s various film cultures resembled these powerful concoctions of popular genre cinema and political agenda; nowhere else, it seems, did directors dare to go that far in their aesthetics, dare to be that outspoken. The Tamil New Wave, as it is sometimes called, became a model few had the guts to emulate,” Möller added.

The curator further praised the Tamil New Wave cinema for its desire to experiment and openly contemplate its politics and what it means, with the audience.

Last February 2017, Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s S Durga became the first Indian film to win the prestigious Hivos Tiger award at the Rotterdam film fest.