Tovino Thomas, 2018
Tovino Thomas is basking in the success of his film '2018' I File Photo

Hard work pays off, international acclaim fantastic: '2018' actor Tovino Thomas

Based on the devastating Kerala floods, '2018', will be vying for a place in the final five nominees of best international feature category of the Oscars.

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Tovino Thomas exclaimed, "This calls for celebration!" following the selection of his Malayalam film "2018-Everyone is a Hero" as India's official entry for the 2024 Oscars.

The Jude Anthany Joseph-directorial, which narrates the story of the devastating Kerala floods in 2018, will be vying for a place in the final five nominees of best international feature category of the awards gala, set to be held on March 10, 2024.

The selection of "2018" comes as a double delight for the actor as he won the best Asian actor trophy at the Septimius Awards in Amsterdam on Tuesday (September 26).

"I was very happy last night and today I woke up even happier to this exciting news as our film ‘2018’ has been selected as India’s official entry. We worked in extreme conditions for this film, but it’s all paying off and this movie is now getting international acclaim, which is such a great thing.

"For any artist, the appreciation from audiences from different parts of the world means a lot. This will only propel (us) further. I'm not with the team to celebrate this moment. But this definitely calls for a celebration,” Thomas told PTI over phone from Amsterdam.

The 34-year-old actor, known for films such as “7th Day”, “Uyare”, “Mayanadhi” and "Minnal Murali", said his phone began to incessantly buzz with congratulatory messages from colleagues, friends, and family.

Thomas said the news motivates him to work harder and give his best in future.

“In Malayalam industry, we work with a lot of constraints and it only makes us work harder. Even with lesser budgets and resources, we are able to make such films and the movie being appreciated only pushes us to work harder,” he said.

“This is a responsibility and I should remember it while working on my next movies. I’ve to live up to people’s expectations. It makes us happy and responsible. It is not money or fame this kind of appreciation gives us happiness. I don’t know if it will change my career or not, but I think my films will now have a wider audience,” he added.

Thomas believes that the story of “2018” struck an emotional chord with people across the globe.

"I knew the film will work for audiences in Kerala because they know what happened in 2018. It is a personal film for Malayali people. When the film was released, I realised human emotions are the same everywhere because I started getting a lot of messages from all over India about what people felt about the movie,” he said.

Thomas is currently on a break from shooting after he suffered a leg injury on the sets of his upcoming film “Nadikar Thilakam”. He stated that the film's shooting will restart in a few days.

"I got cuts on my right leg, and I had to take stitches for it. I’m fine, and resting now. I came to Amsterdam for the awards because I didn’t want to miss it as it was for '2018',” he said.

"2018" also stars Tanvi Ram, Kunchako Boban and Aparna Balamurali. In June, the makers claimed that the film had crossed over Rs 200 crore at the box office to become the highest grossing film in Malayalam cinema.

(With agency inputs)

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