Aanand L Rai’s Tumbbad to be the first Indian film to open the Venice International Film Critics’ Week

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Tumbbad starring Sohum Shah in the lead role is set to release in India on October 12

Horror-fantasy “Tumbbad” has become the first Indian film to open the prestigious Venice Film Festival’s Critics’ Week on August 9. The segment, which will run parallel to the 75th edition of the main festival, features nine films by first-time directors from across the globe. The section’s artistic director, Giona Nazzaro, called the 19th-century-set film, co-directed by Rai Anil Barve and Adesh Prasad, “a thrilling rollercoaster ride”. “‘Tumbbad’, the first Indian film ever to open the Venice International Film Critics’ Week, is a thrilling rollercoaster ride that questions the roots of human greed while providing entertainment of the purest kind.

“Fantasy, action, frights, and scares: Tumbbad has it all,” Nazzaro said in a statement, shared by the film’s producers. Both “Tumbbad” and Tunisian director Abdelhamid Bouchnak’s horror film “Dachra”, which is the closing film of the section, are out-of-competition screenings. 

Sudanese director Hajooj Kuka’s “A Kasha”, German director Andreas Goldstein’s “Adam & Evelyn”, Italian director Letizia Lamartire’s “We’ll Be Young and Beautiful”, Montenegrin Ivan Salatic’s “You Have the Night,” director duo Alexia Walther and Maxime Matray’s “Blonde Animals”, documentary “Still Recording” and Finnish director Anna Eriksoon’s “M” are the other seven films, competing for USD 100,000 prize money. The voting in the Critics Week section is done by festival-goers rather than a jury.

“Tumbbad”, starring Sohum Shah in the lead role, is set to release in India on October 12 in Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, and Telugu. “I have always loved Hindi mainstream films with big emotions, drama and a massive experience. ‘Tumbbad’ is exciting for me because it has just that entertaining, larger than life quality. That is why when Aanand sir and Hirani sir loved ‘Tumbbad’ I was very happy.

“But I had never expected that it will get this kind of overwhelming response and honour from the international audience. That’s a total surprise,” Sohum told PTI. “Tumbbad” is an Eros International and Aanand L Rai‘s presentation and a Little Town Films production in association with Colour Yellow Productions. It is co-produced by Film i V st and Filmgate Films.

“Ship of Theseus” director Anand Gandhi has executive produced the film.

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