Nasir, directed by Coimbatore-based filmmaker Arun Karthick, has been selected to the Hivos Tiger Award competition section of International Film Festival Of Rotterdam which begins on January 23. It is the first Tamil film to compete for the prestigious award which was founded in 1995 to discover and reward up-and-coming international film talent.
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Nasir, centred around a Muslim man working at a textile shop in Coimbatore, is based on writer Dilip Kumar’s short story ‘Oru Gumasthavin Kathai’ (‘The Story of a Clerk’) which is set against the backdrop of a communal riots in the south Indian town. In 2018, it had won the Netherlands Film Fund (NFF) and Hubert Bals Fund (HBF) Co-production Scheme. It is jointly produced by Mathivanan Rajendran and Netherlands-based firm Rinkel Films. Kumaran Valavan, a France-based theoretical physicist and the founder of founder of India Nostrum Theatre, has played the titular protagonist.
Nasir is 28-year-old Arun’s second feature film after Sivapuranam/A Strange Case of Shiva which was screened at IFFR’s Bright Future category in 2016. In 2017, Malayalam filmmaker Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s Sexy Durga had won the Tiger Award. In the same edition of the festival, Prantik Basu’s Sakhisona had won the Tiger Award for the Best Short Film.
Four Indian feature-length films have been chosen to be screened at IFFR 2020. This includes Nasir, Saurav Rai’s Nimtoh/Invitation which will be screened in Bright Future section, Deepti Gupta’s documentary on Sona Mahapatra, Shut Up Sona and Gurvinder Singh’s The Bitter Chestnut which will be screened in Voices section. Nimtoh, which premiered at MAMI Mumbai Film Festival in October 2019, had won the festival’s Grand Jury Prize for screenplay. Pune-based filmmaker Lubdhak Chatterjee’s short film Aahuti has also been selected to be screened at the festival.