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2018 is a journey about unseen, unheard stories and unsung heroes: Jude Anthany Joseph

Director Jude Anthany Joseph talks about his latest movie 2018, which is based on the Kerala floods

Last Updated: 09.10 AM, May 05, 2023


A journey of almost five years is coming to fruition for director Jude Anthany Joseph, with the release of his latest movie 2018 that is based on the Kerala floods of the same year. The film, which stars Tovino Thomas, Asif Ali, Kunchacko Boban, Vineeth Sreenivasan and Aparna Balamurali, revolves around the series of incidents that happened during the distressing time across the State.

In an exclusive chat with OTTplay, Jude tells us that it was a challenge to whittle down the stories that he needed to compose the movie because a lot of incidents that happened in August 2018 could have made for separate films in themselves.

Lal, Jude Anthany Joseph and Narain during the shoot of 2018
Lal, Jude Anthany Joseph and Narain during the shoot of 2018

“We could have made this movie as an anthology but it wouldn’t be complete,” he says. "So, that’s why I have tried to connect all the stories. All the characters and what they go through are linked somehow, even though the story happens across the State. This was done deliberately, so that no story stuck out like a sore thumb. Our challenge was to present the situation through these characters and how they responded to it.”

The filmmaker says that from the first to the 12th and final draft of the movie, he had to remove several characters to ensure that the movie’s length didn’t cross two and a half hours. “In that process, we have tried to showcase a lot of stories but there are still some incidents we couldn’t and that’s something that I am disappointed about,” he explains.


On how he went about choosing the stories to include in the movie, Jude says, “During the time of the floods, I couldn’t read or watch the news because my house was affected too. But after that, I filtered out the stories from the newspapers I read. I didn’t include the main incidents that were extensively covered by the media. This film is a journey through unheard and unseen stories, unsung heroes. So, the incidents that I picked were those snippets that were relegated to a corner in the newspapers’ inside pages.”

2018 is also not fashioned as a documentation of the disaster, Jude explains. “So, you wouldn’t find a lot of incidents like that of the policeman running across the bridge with an ailing child or the man crouching on a flooded road to allow people to step on his back to get into a boat,” he says. “After the film’s trailer was released, some people commented, ‘Where are the off-road bikers in the film?’ For such questions, you wouldn’t find the answers in 2018 because I didn’t mean to make a documentation of the incidents.”

The Malayalam film is set to hit theatres worldwide on May 5. 2018 will also be released in other languages in the subsequent weeks.

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