Took three floods to write 2018: director Jude Anthany Joseph on his superhit film
Jude Anthany Joseph, the director, realised a short film was not enough on the 2018 floods. Pic: Facebook

Took three floods to write '2018': director Jude Anthany Joseph on his superhit film

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It took three floods to complete the script of ‘2018’, declared director Jude Anthany Joseph about his film that went on to become one of the highest grossers in recent times.

This Malayalam film, which is a dramatised portrayal of the devastating floods that ravaged Kerala in 2018, showed how people from all walks of life come together to survive in a calamity. This survivor drama struck a chord with audiences who had experienced the disaster first hand.

The Tovino Thomas-starrer, which released in May, emerged as the highest earning Malayalam film by crossing ₹200 crore mark at the box-office.

Joseph, who recently announced his next project with Lyca Productions, said he was one of the many people affected by the August 2018 floods in Kerala. Deemed the state’s worst in a century, the disaster claimed over 400 lives.

“It took me three floods to complete the script. In 2018, when the floods happened, my house drowned. I was away with my family at my sister’s house and did not know about the massive rescue efforts launched by the navy and airforce because there was no internet connection,” Joseph told PTI.

Also read: Interview I Why Tovino Thomas did not want to do Malayalam blockbuster film 2018

According to the filmmaker, he was in a ‘depressive state’ when an NGO approached him to make a short film focusing on how people helped each other during the crisis.

Joseph said he realised a short film was not enough on the 2018 floods and decided to narrate the stories that he unearthed during his research through a feature, which he said was a ‘herculean task’.

“After the floods, when I started writing the script…It was like self-inspiration. I had to move on, so I had to do something that would make me happy,” he said, adding that his house also faced damage in 2019 and 2020 as well.

The filmmaker, whose credits include ‘Ohm Shanthi Oshaana’ and ‘Saras’, also recalled the outpouring of love from the who’s who of Malayalam cinema, including veteran directors Priyadarshan and T K Rajeev Kumar, in the first three weeks of the film’s release.

Also watch: Kerala theatre owners protest early release of movies on OTT | 2018

“The most memorable thing was that wherever I would go, to a theatre or a mall, common people would come to me and they would hug me. They would take a snap with me…I was very moved by that gesture. Everybody was very emotional because they had experienced the floods,” he added.

Indrans, Kunchacko Boban, Aparna Balamurali, Vineeth Sreenivasan, Asif Ali, Lal, Narain, Tanvi Ram, Sshivada, Kalaiyarasan, Aju Varghese, Siddique, Joy Mathew and Sudheesh also starred in ‘2018’.

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