Vinod Krishna-directed ‘Elam’ is first Indian film to win an award at Puerto Rico festival.
An Indian regional film has managed to catch the attention of jury members at the Bayamon International Film Festival in Puerto Rico.
Malayalam film Elam, directed by debutant Vinod Krishna, just became the first ever Indian film to get an award at the fifth edition of the Bayamon Festival.
The film, starring Indian American actors Thampy Antony, Kavitha Nair, Josekutty Madathil and Roshan N.G. in important roles, was selected from 1,200 films from across the world.
Elam was produced by Jaya Menon, Shiji Mathew and Vinayan Nair, under the banner of Ego Planet Entertainment India. It was shot in the United States and India.
The Bayamon festival, held from January 29 to February 2, showcased some excellent pieces of global cinema. Elam got the best film award in the experimental feature category.
Speaking to the American Bazaar, lead actor Antony said, “It was a pleasant surprise for all of us involved in the project. We made the film with a lot of heart and it is great to see it getting noticed.”
While the actors may have been caught by surprise at the film’s win, it’s not the first time that Elam has garnered attention at international film circuits.
Recently, it also won the Grand Jury Award for first time producers at the Oniros Film Festival in Italy. Accolades also came in the form of Prisma award for best director and producer at the Rome festival earlier this year.
Antony, who is also known as Antony Thekkek, has been based in the San Francisco area for two decades now and has appeared in many Hollywood and Indian movies.
He received the Best Actor Award at Honolulu International Film Festival for his role in the English movie Beyond the Soul.
Antony is also a published author, who has written a number of short stories and novels in Malayalam.
Talking about the reception Elam has been getting, Antony said, “We are excited and are currently looking forward to the film’s screening at the Golden State International Film Festival later this year.”
Asked how Elam, a movie based on an unusual plot, was able to connect with film watchers and critics globally, he said, “The movie is based on symbolism and leaves a lot for the audience to interpret and that’s the beauty of it.”
“It is about a day in a bar. While we shot in the San Francisco Bay Area, the film does not give away where the location is,” Antony said.
“Events unfold, characters come and go and stories evolve – everything follows a pattern but leaves a lot for the viewer to interpret. That is why the film was selected in the experimental category.”
The movie was a work of passion, said Antony. “When we heard the plot, all of us were excited and believed in it,” he said.