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Singapore’s ‘Return,’ China’s ‘Soul’ Join Kerala Festival Competition

Singaporean filmmaker Green Zeng’s “The Return” will vie with several other Asian films for the best film cash prize of $22,000 in the main competition section of the 21st International Film Festival of Kerala.

Other Asian films in the fray include a brace of films from Turkey – Yesim Ustaoglu’s “Clair Obscur” and Mustafa Kara’s “Cold of Kalandar,” Jun Robles Lana’s “Die Beautiful” from the Philippines, a pair of films from China, Wang Xuebo’s “Knife in the Clear Water” and Zhang Yang’s “Soul on a String,” and Kioumars Pourahmad “Where are my Shoes?” from Iran.

Indian contenders include Dr. Biju’s “Where the Woods Bloom,” Saibal Mitra’s “The Last Mural,” Vidhu Vincent’s “Manhole” and Santwana Bardoloi’s “Maj Rati Keteki.”

The festival runs Dec. 9-16 in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of the state of Kerala where Malayalam is the local language.

FIPRESCI awards for best Malayalam film and best international film will also be given out during the festival. In addition, there are NETPAC awards for best Asian film and best Malayalam film.

The festival will open with Navid Mahmoudi’s “Parting” which had its world premiered and won a jury prize in Busan. The film was Afghanistan’s entry in the foreign-language Oscar category, but it was disqualified for reasons not disclosed by the Academy.

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