Actore Joju George recently walked the red carpet at the prestigious Venice International Film Festival, clad in traditional 'Mundu'.
His daring act – of showcasing the traditional Kerala fashion at a world-renowned event - won him huge appreciation and his photos went viral on social media.
But Joju does not care about the hype around it. He insists that movie lovers should talk about his upcoming movie – Chola, directed by Sanalkumar Sasidharan – rather than his appearance at Venice. “Let the movie take the centerstage and not my attire," Joju said.
'Chola', our pride
'Chola' was screened at the Venice film festival in a 1500-capacity theatre . The audience comprised mainly foreigners. Among them were only three or four Indians including a Malayali. But no one left the venue till the end. And the movie won huge round of applause from the audience and the jury. "'Chola will make every Malayali proud. It truly represents the Malayalam cinema," Joju said.
"Director Sanal has a huge fan base abroad. It was he who got a rousing reception. Huge crowd turned up to watch his movie and not not me who worn a Mundu," he said.
Showering praise on Sanalkumar, he said he was stunned to see how foreign film-makers respected him. “Sanalkumar had won the prestigious Tiger award. Many prominent Hollywood film makers too had won it before. It is a huge honour and winning it is not easy," Joju said.
"I always felt that Mundu suits me better. Hence I wore Mundu on the red carpet. Foreigners too said it was good attire. However, I never thought that it would become such a sensation here. I don't want praise for my clothes. I want to hear 'Chola's' success story. I had worn a Mundu for my wedding. The Venice film festival too was a precious moment like that," he said.
The award-winning actor admitted that he had an inkling to fold his Mundu while walking the red carpet. However, he refrained from doing so as people would find it disgusting.
Leading lights of world cinema and Hollywood stalwarts attended this year's Venice film festival at the Lido island. Joju said he was impressed by the islander's passion for cinema. "Fans and movie lovers throng to watch stars strut down the red carpet. I witnessed how Malayalam cinema was presented, in all its beauty, to the world. I am thrilled that Malayalam cinema has made its way to such an amazingly huge platform," he said.
"'Chola' represents the Malayalam cinema at the festival. I am just an actor who worked in it. I am someone who has grown up watching many legendary movies and film makers. Had we got such special experiences and opportunities, many Oscars would have come our way," Joju said.