Vinu Abraham is on a high as Parudeesa wins the best screenplay award in the Mexico International Film Festival

Vinu Abraham is on cloud nine. Although Celluloid, largely based on his novel Nastha Nayika, bagged seven Kerala State Film awards, Vinu was disappointed that Parudeesa, which was scripted by him, was ignored by viewers and critics. However, recently, Parudeesa, directed by R. Sarath, won the best screenplay award in the Mexico International Film Festival. Thirty films were in the reckoning for the award.

Vinu says it is a vindication of his belief in the film and in his script. “We have several films that delves into socio-political topics but not many serious movies that look into the crucial role played by faith and religion in the politics of Kerala. The church and the clergy have had a clear influence on the political fortunes of many. Yet, not many movies have worked on that angle or the role of activist priests in Kerala,” says Vinu.

Parudeesa had also won the prize for ‘best dramatic editing’ at Amsterdam International Film Festival. B. Ajithkumar is the editor of the film, adds an elated Vinu.

Latin America is a centre of ‘Liberation theology’ and that might have helped the jury in Mexico identify with the film. Thampi Antony, producer of the film and its lead actor, told Vinu that the presence of several activist priests in Mexico and Latin America might have helped the film strike a chord with viewers. “South America and Mexico have several tales of miracles and priests who involve themselves in matters spiritual and temporal,” points out Vinu.

Parudeesa is a visual exploration into what constitutes faith through the lives of a priest and a verger. Vinu says his research on the film took him to an isolated church at Melekavu in the high ranges of Kottayam, which was built by British missionaries.

A former mediaperson, Vinu quit his job as a scribe to follow his vocation as a writer. He has a collection of short stories and novels to his credit. His new script 100°C goes on the floor this week. “It is a women-centric thriller directed by Rakesh Gopan. It stars Swetha Menon, Meghna Raj, Bhama, Ananya and Haritha,” adds Vinu.