D. Bijukumar and Shalini Usha Nair's films have been selected for the 15th Shanghai International Film Festival

Two filmmakers from Kerala will travel to Shanghai in June to showcase their movies at the 15th Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF). Debutant filmmaker Shalini Usha Nair and award-winning film director D. Bijukumar are the ones whose movies have been selected to the film fete.

Dr. Biju's Akashathinte Niram (Colour of Sky) becomes the first Malayalam movie to get selected to the main competition section of SIFF. The film, which will have its world premiere in Shanghai on June 19, is in the running for the prestigious Golden Goblet award. “The movie won a place among the top 10 films to be screened in the competition section from among more than 1,500 entries from 106 countries,” says Dr. Biju.

An excited Dr. Biju agrees that it is an unexpected honour. Scripted and directed by him, Akashathinte Niram was shot entirely on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands with a huge cast that included Indrajith, Nedumudi Venu and others.

“It was shot mainly on Neil Island. It tells the story of a thief who finds himself on an island with four people who have been living there for ages. There is no escape and gradually Nature and his surroundings bring about a change in his nature and attitude towards life and people,” narrates Dr. Biju. Along with Indrajith and producer of the film K. Anilkumar, Dr. Biju will walk the red carpet for the screening of the film. The movie will reach theatres in Kerala on July 6.

Meanwhile, Shalini's Akam, starring Fahadh Faasil and debutant Anumol, is a psychological thriller adapted from litterateur Malayatoor Ramakrishnan's novel Yakshi.

Akam, shot in and around the city and its surrounding suburbs, explores the myth of the Yakshi (female demon) and its relevance in the contemporary world. It is told through the story of a couple – a young architect and his enigmatic wife – both of whom are grappling with their inner demons, which they project onto their relationship, much to its detriment.

Akam is being screened in the World Panorama category at SIFF. “I'm super excited!” gushes the city-based Shalini. “SIFF is an A-list fete, one of the biggest in Asia. It also has an excellent forum for filmmakers and producers to market their film, which I am looking forward to,” adds Shalini, who is all set to attend the fete, which is on from June 15 to 24.