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Tumbbad is first Indian film to open Venice Critics' Week

The 75th Venice Film Festival will be held from 29 August to 8 September.

Sonal Pandya

The period film Tumbbad, co-directed by Rahi Anil Barve and Anil Prasad, heads to Italy for its world premiere at the 75th Venice Film Festival. The film will open the 33rd Venice Critics' Week out of competition. It is the first Indian film to be bestowed the honour.

Giona Nazzaro, artistic director of Venice Critics' Week, called Tumbbad “a visionary fantasy film, rich in visual inventions, special effects and blood.” Starring Sohum Shah, the film is produced by Little Town Films and presented by Aanand L Rai and Eros International. Shah has co-written the script with filmmaker Anand Gandhi.

The section’s artistic director, Giona Nazzaro, described the 19th-century-set Tumbbad, co-directed by Rai Anil Barve and Adesh Prasad, as a fast-paced parable about greed and “a visionary fantasy film, rich in visual inventions, special effects and blood.” The Hindi-language epic, produced by Mumbai-based Little Town Films, is being screened out of competition, and is sold internationally by Eros International.

Venice Critics' Week will feature nine films which include the Sudanese film A Kasha (The Roundup), the German film Adam & Evelyn, the Franco-Swiss production Blonde Animals, the documentary Stil Recording on the ongoing Syrian war, the Finnish experimental horror film M, the Italian film We’ll Be Young and Beautiful and the Montenegrin film You Have The Night.

The critics' week will close with the Tunisian film Dachra which is also screening out of competition like Tumbbad. According to the trade magazine, Variety, "All Venice Critics’ Week entries will compete alongside titles in the official selection for the fest’s Lion of the Future prize, worth $100,000." Festival-goers will vote for the films screened in critics' week.

The rest of the lineup for the fesitval will be announced later this week. Tumbbad has been under production for six years and is due to release in India on 12 October 2018.