‘2018: Everyone is a Hero’ is India’s official entry for the 2024 Oscars. Directed by Jude Anthany Joseph, the survival drama is based on the devastating floods in Kerala in 2018.

“The film, we believe, is a metaphor for the battle between nature and humankind. If we look at it as a metaphor, it is not only about Kerala floods or Chennai floods. It is a metaphor for what our notion of development is,” said Girish Kasaravalli, the chairman of the Film Federation of India’s selection committee.

Here’s all you need to know about this movie:

1. The director was contacted by an NGO to create motivational videos for those who had lost their livelihoods in the aftermath of the flood. During his research, he came across stories of survival and heroism, which inspired him to make this film.

2. The film’s art director, Mohandas Pallakkottil, skillfully recreated the flood scenes with minimal use of visual effects (VFX) and computer-generated imagery (CGI), garnering widespread acclaim.

3. The team rented a 22-acre site in Vaikom, where they set up a two-acre tank and filled it with water. “That was where we shot the underwater scenes once we began shooting the flood,” said Mohandas to The Hindu.

4. During the movie’s production, they opted not to use computer graphics for depicting water. Instead, they utilised a set that was designed for recyclability. “A miniature set was made to test the water flow before the shoot,” said Joseph to OnManorama.

5. This is the fourth time that a Malayalam movie has been selected as India’s entry for the Best International Feature Film.

6. ‘2018: Everyone is a Hero’ is the highest-grossing Malayalam film of all time, crossing Rs 200 crore, and is one of the top earners in Indian cinema this year.

7. Tovino Thomas’s performance in 2018 earned him the award for Best Asian Actor at the Septimius Awards 2023, making him the first South Indian actor to bag this honour.

8. In this movie, he portrays a crucial character — a man who initially flees from the Indian Army due to fear but ultimately jeopardises his own life to rescue others during the flood.

9. The team has been lauded for approaching the trauma faced by people in an empathetic manner. It focuses on the people affected, rather than the calamity itself.

10. The film stars Kunchacko Boban, Tovino Thomas, Lal, Asif Ali, Narain, Vineeth Sreenivasan, and Aparna Balamurali in important roles.