Malayalam director Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Ee.Ma.Yau won three awards at the 23rd International Film Festival of Kerala that was held between December 7 and 13 in Thiruvananthapuram. Pellissery’s satire, about a son’s attempts to give his dead father a grand funeral in a coastal village in Kochi, won the Rajatha Chakoram award for the Best Director, the NETPAC Award for the Best Asian Film in Competition, and the Audience Prize Rajaatha Chakoram for the Best Film.

This year’s jury was headed by Iranian director Majid Majidi.

Ee.Ma.Yau (2018).

The top honour, the Suvarna Chakoram Award for Best Film, went to Rouhollah Hejazi’s Iranian drama The Dark Room, which centres on a boy who complains of sexual assault. Anamika Haksar received the Rajatha Chakoram for the Best Debut Director for Ghode Ko Jalebi Khilane Le Ja Riya Hoon. Haksar’s film, which explores working-class lives in Old Delhi, also received a Special Jury Mention for the cinematography by Saumyanand Sahi.

Ghode Ko Jalebi Khilane Le Ja Riya Hoon (2018).

Sudani from Nigeria, directed by Zakariya, won the FIPRESCI Award for Best Malayalam Film. The FFSI KR Mohanan Award, a new award introduced this year for the best Indian film, went to Manohar and I, directed by Amitabha Chatterjee. Vinu Kolichal’s Bilathikuzhal received a special jury mention in the same category.

Beatriz Seigner’s The Silence (Los Silencios) also received a special mention from the jury.

Overall, 174 titles from India and the rest of the world were screened at the festival this year. Among the events were tributes to Ingmar Bergman, Milos Forman and Lenin Rajendran.