It is an award that has been won by Rituparno Ghosh and Aparna Sen. Little wonder, Unni Vijayan is a proud man.

Lessons in Forgetting fetched him the national award for the best feature film in English. And that is not the only Malayali connection this English film has.

It is produced by Prince Thampi, under the banner of Arowana Studios, and is based on a novel, of the same name, by Anita Nair, who has also penned the film’s screenplay.

This is the debut feature film of Unni, who is from Palakkad. “Winning the national award was a pleasant surprise,” he told The Hindu over telephone from Bangalore. “It feels great to know that Aparna Sen’s 36 Chowringhee Lane and Rituparno’s The Last Lear are winners in this category,” he said.

Unni, born and brought up in Mumbai, is a graduate of the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune. “My subject was editing,” he said. “Lessons in Forgetting, which is about a father’s search to find out what happened to his daughter, became possible because of the initiative of the producer Prince, who is my cousin. He has a creative mind and wanted to make meaningful films.”

Lessons in Forgetting, the cast of which is led by Adil Hussain and Maya Tideman, will reach cinemas on April 19. “It will be released in Kochi too,” Unni said.