Pebbles became the first Tamil film and only the second Indian film, after Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s S Durga, to get the Tiger Award, with Vinothraj winning in his debut effort.
Sometime in 2015, the mother of a two-year-old was beaten up and thrown out of the house by her alcoholic husband in the middle of the night, in a village near Melur in Madurai. She walked 13 km to her parents’ home carrying the child.
On Sunday, a film inspired by her story won the Tiger Award, the top honour at the recently concluded 50th edition of the International Film Festival Rotterdam 2021. The director of the film Koozhangal (Pebbles) is the woman’s elder brother, P S Vinothraj. She has a cameo, appearing in a hazy dream sequence. While the two lost their father at the age of nine, their mother is a street-vendor in Madurai town.
Pebbles became the first Tamil film and only the second Indian film, after Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s S Durga, to get the Tiger Award, with Vinothraj winning in his debut effort. Pebbles is also the first movie project for cinematographers Vignesh Kumily and G Parthib, and editor Ganesh Siva.
The Rotterdam festival is considered the world’s most prestigious festival for experimental films. Tiger Award carries a prize money of about 40,000 Euros.
Vinothraj says what happened to his sister, her long walk with the child, “disturbed” him, particularly the fact that he couldn’t question her husband. “I wasn’t able to do anything… I couldn’t tell her anything,” he says, apart from maybe once to “forget it”, that her child would ease her suffering.
Source: The Indian Express