National Award-winning Malayalam film Ottaal was adjudged the Best Film by children’s jury at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival and has been honoured with the Crystal Bear award in the Generation Kplus section. Directed by Jayaraj Rajasekharan Nair, Ottaal is an adaptation of a short story by Russian writer Anton Chekhov and narrates the story of an old fisherman and his grandson.
A post on the official Twitter handle of the festival announced the result. The post read: “GENERATION K+ Crystal Bears announced! Best Short: EL INICIO DE FABRIZIO, Best Film: OTTAAL.”
The official site of the festival describes Ottaal, which means a trap, as an “exceptional movie” tugging at the heart strings “with its irresistible images of nature, laid-back music and amazingly gifted actors”.
“The unique way of filming certain details blew us away. We think it’s important that such a sad and serious topic be tackled in a movie, though the film also managed to capture the humour and joy of life.”
The Indian film was picked as the best by members of the children’s jury in Generation Kplus. The jury included Fabian Behrendt, Mathilda Fastabend, Felix Fuentes-Hare, Julian Leisle, Lilia Channary Noack, Mette Maren Schmahl, Fritzi Schneider-Reuter, Moritz Süßenbach, Sophie Tischmann, Tamino Köhne, Irma Weiche.
The Berlin International Film Festival brings forward an array of films from every genre. And it also has a special section dedicated to films for young audiences in Generation. The fest was held from February 11-21.
Watch Ottaal trailer here:
The win comes a triple bonanza for Indian cinema as this is the third year in a row that Indian films have won accolade at the fest. Killa won in 2014 and Dhanak in 2015.
Ottaal won two National Awards for Best Screenplay and Best Film on Environment Conservation/Preservation and the Kerala State Film Award for Best Film. It was screened at the Mumbai Film Festival and the International Film Festival of Kerala.