Tovino Thomas` Malayalam film, 2018, has been chosen as India`s official entry to the 96th Academy Awards. The survival drama based on the 2018 Kerala floods was directed by Jude Anthany Joseph and released earlier this year.
A jury headed by noted director Girish Kasaravalli on Wednesday announced that 2018 has been India`s selection for the Oscars in the Best International Film category. According to reports, films like The Kerala Story, Vaalvi, Gadar 2, Balagam, Dasara, Zwigato, The Storyteller, Rocky aur Rani Kii Prem Kahaani, Music School, Mrs Chatterjee Vs Norway, Ghoomer, Viduthalai Part 1, Baap Layak and 12th Fail were shortlisted.
In an interview with Mid-Day during the promotions of 2018, Tovino, who was in the lead, spoke about the making of the film. He said, “It was almost impossible to recreate the floods. Every actor who worked in this film was busy with their own projects. They all come together to associate with the film. It was a sweet gesture and it is also because this movie is an emotion for everyone. Everyday I get videos of people clapping and kids crying and all of this is very new to me. Malayalam cinema in back.”
He further added, “Jude (Anthany Joseph) said that only if you do this movie will I make it. You have to be a part of the movie or else I am not doing it. I told him not to do this as I get emotionally manipulated very easily. He asked me to listen to the script and then he narrated it. I read it and cried. That`s when I decided that whatever people say I want to be a part of this amazing movie. I trusted him.”
2018 depicted the catastrophic 2018 floods in Kerala. It showcased various experiences of different characters and how the incessant rain and nature`s fury affected them. Owing to its critical acclaim, the film`s dubbed version was released in Hindi.
The survival drama also starred Kunchacko Boban, Asif Ali, Vineeth Sreenivasan, Narain and Lal. It was the highest-grossing Malayalam film of all time and one of the highest-grossing Indian films of 2023.