Loosely based on Anton Chekhov’s short story Vanka, OTTAAL centers on eight-year-old Kuttappayi, an orphan who goes to live with his kind grandfather in the Kerala countryside. For a while, things are idyllic. Days are spent fishing, reading, playing with other local children and tending to flocks of ducks that bob about in flooded fields. Then, two realities converge: Kuttappayi’s grandfather falls ill, and an opportunity seemingly arises for the young boy to go to school in the city. But all is not what it seems.
By focusing on one child, OTTAAL tells the story of millions of children worldwide caught in the crosshairs of pervasive poverty and abusive business practices. Winner of the Crystal Bear for Best Film in the Generation Kplus section of the 2016 Berlin International Film Festival, OTTAAL is directed with patient mastery by director Jayaraj Rajasekharan Nair, and anchored by a heartbreaking performance from its young lead, Ashanth K. Sha.
Preceded by the short film: PLAYGROUNDS
- Jayaraj Rajasekharan Nair
Jayaraj Rajasekharan Nair, often credited as Jayaraj, is an Indian filmmaker who has marked his presence in both arthouse and mainstream films. Director of more than 35 films in four languages (Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu and Hindi), Jayaraj and his films have been critically acclaimed and won numerous awards.