The IFFI at Goa has rewarded Kerala with a historic win. Actor Parvathy won the silver peacock for the best actor (female) at IFFI 2017 for her role as a nurse and single mother who suffers seemingly insurmountable hardships at the hands of ISIS in Iraq’s city of Tikrit in Mahesh Narayanan’s Take Off. This is the first time an actor in a Malayalam film has won the silver peacock in IFFI’s 48-year history. She credited nurses from Kerala for her win.
Parvathy’s acceptance speech
For some strange reason the first words that came out of me was in Malayalam. This is truly a very special night especially because this movie came from a certain need to keep someone alive. And that is our dear friend Rajesh who passed away last year. He was a filmmaker, and he had grand plans to make wonderful stories about human emotions and relationships. But he left us. But it was also the day he left us that Mahesh and Sanjay sir, a writer, and all of us got together and we decided we definitely need take off. And I would like to dedicate this movie and my performance, and all the accolades that this movie has received to Rajesh and we promise to keep him alive and his vision.
I would like to thank Mahesh, my director and writer and a very dear friend for giving me Sameera. Because she is an embodiment of hope in absolute darkness and the reason I do this job is for the sheer need to remind myself what empathy is and how it is to connect with other people who aren't me. And Sameera was just so so far away that I really didn't know how to be her, but I had to immerse myself in the darkness that she was living day in and day out. And she is representative of so many women who don’t think of their life as they are the protagonist or what they are going to do. All they can think of is where is the next meal coming from, how do I pay off this loan and take care of my family. I dedicate this award to all the nurses of Kerala, all those women who stood their ground and with love and hope and conviction got out of that terrible dilemma they were stuck in.