Exclusive! First images released for Chola by Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, which is heading to the 76th Venice Film Festival​ in competition.​
Author: Tribe Desk | July 26th 2019
Chola, the new film by the Sexy Durga/ S​ Durga​ director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan has been selected ​in competition for the Horizons/ Orrizonti section at the​ 76th Venice Film Festival. ​The section is dedicated to films that represent the latest aesthetic and expressive trends in international cinema. And Sasidharan has both in spades. ​

​Chola is a​ Malayalam-language movie, with the English title Shadow of Water​. ​A ​magical realist drama​, the film is​ about two teenagers who run away to visit the big city but end up having to spend the night in a bare-bones motel, where their nightmare begins​. In a first for Sasidharan, it features mainstream actors​ Nimisha Sajayan and Joju George. Sajayan​ has previously been seen in​ Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum (2017) and Eeda (2108), while George was most recently ​seen ​in Virus (2019). Find a few exclusive images from the film below.

Still from Chola. Credit - Arunsol

Still from Chola. Credit - Arunsol

Still from Chola. Credit - Arunsol

Sanal says that there ​are thematic similarities with​ his Tiger Award-winning film​ Sexy​ Durga,​ the first Indian film to do so at the​ International Film Festival of Rotterdam. Both involve a road trip and the nightmares involved. 


Sasidharan​ made his debut with the film Parole (2009), and has since made five more feature films​ including​ Oraalppokkam (2014), the acclaimed Ozhivudivasathe Kali (2015)​ and Sexy​ Durga (2017)​, another incredible social commentary film Death of Insane (2017), which he completed while​ working on Chola​.​ The film has been produced by Aruna Mathew and Shaji Mathew. 

Chola​ also won four awards at the​ Kerala State Film Awards this year​, ​for the best male and female actor​,​ a special jury award for direction and one for sound designing.

Chola Film Poster

Chola is the sole Indian film competing ​​among 19 international productions picked for ​the section for four awards​,​ including for best feature.​ ​The only other Indian film to have won previously in the same section is Court by Chaitanya Tamhane, in the year 2014. In 2019, we have one other Indian film at the festival. Bombay Rose, a beautiful hand-painted animation feature by Gitanjali Rao, opens the Venice Critic's Week out of competition.

The​ complete​ festival line-up was announced on ​25 July 2019. The 76th Venice Film Festival​ will run from 28 August ​- 7 September ​2019​.​ ​​For the full lineup, go here.
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