2018 is the International Feature submission for India. The film is about the devastating floods that happened in August 2018 throughout Kerala. It follows the journey through a few resilient individuals who had to endure one of the most horrifying weather disasters in recent years. Amongst them is Anoop, a young man who left the army with a fake medical certificate and is now hoping to move to Dubai. He, and many others, became heroes due to their efforts in trying to save as many lives as possible.
The film begins in a village in Aruvikkulam, Anoop, and his friends and family are all living their lives working in their stores, or as teachers, as fisherman, or as journalists. As the rainy season approaches, the local fishermen, and others, begin to close up their homes and head out to care centres due to the rising waters. This year is slightly different though. On August 2018, the dam in the nearby area is opened up for the first time in decades. This is mainly due to the fact that a lot of neighborhoods were suffering from lack of water or from clean water. The result is disastrous. As the rain begins to fall heavier than usual, combined with the opening of the dam, the result ends up causing water levels to increase significantly, in record time. Completely unprepared for what is about to come, Anoop and his fellow neighbours must act quickly in order to save themselves from drowning.
2018 is a moving reminder of the time when everyone in Kerala, despite their religions, their political beliefs, their disagreements came together to help those in distress. The film is a loving portrayal of how working together as one can save so many lives. It’s a humanitarian film. It’s a film of community. More than 4,500 fisherman participated in the rescue operation with close to 700 boats. They managed to rescue more than 65,000 people. On top of that, countless other individuals worked tirelessly day in and day out doing as much as humanly possible. If it weren’t for them, the casualties would’ve been astronomical.
The 2018 flood in Kerala killed more than 400 people and displaced more than one million people from their homes. It was the worst flood in Kerala in nearly a century. One-sixth of the entire population were directly affected by this calamity. And this is a reminder about the serious effects of global warming. Anoop, and thousands of others are heroes.
The film is an emotional reminder of a tragedy that occurred for millions of people, but the selfless love and care is what is remembered now when one thinks of 2018 and the Kerala floods.