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U.S Premiere

Veyilmarangal (Trees Under the Sun)

India I 108 mins I Drama I 2019 I Malayam w/ English subtitles

A Dalit family comprising of a man, his wife, and their son live in a backwater island in Kerala. During a heavy rainy season, their small house submerges in the flood water. The family loses their home, their property, and eventually their work.


They set for Himachal Pradesh to be employed as guards for an apple orchard. There, they reside in a modest house in the lone apple orchard in the middle of the Himalayan Mountains.


The place, language, and culture are all totally unfamiliar and they struggle to make a living amid the changing landscape and the caste discrimination that infuses daily life.


The film was captured over a year and a half shoot, as the team strove to incorporate the moods and phases of nature over spring, winter, and summer in this harsh and majestic landscape.  

FRI. APRIL 23 - 7:00 PM CT

About the Artist


Bijukumar Damodaran, commonly known as Dr. Biju, is a three time Indian national-award winning filmmaker considered one of the most important contemporary voices in Indian cinema.  His films address political and cultural issues, speaking openly on social justice, gender equality, imperialism, environmental problems, and caste discrimination.

Dr. Biju was born in a small village in Kerala, India in 1971. He graduated in Homeopathic Medicine and joined the Government Medical service in 2004. Fascinated by cinema after seeing world classics at Kerala Int'l Film Festival, he became a self-taught filmmaker and made his first feature in 2005. His debut film, SAIRA, was the opening film in the Cinema of the World section at the Cannes Film Festival & screened at more than 30 film festivals, bagging many awards.


His 10+ subsequent films enjoyed similar success and resonance. His work has screened and received honors at festivals including Cannes, Montreal, Shanghai, Telluride, Cairo, Almaty, Jeonju, Tallinn, Goa, Dhaka, Oporto, and more. He  served as a jury member for India's National Film Awards, India's Oscar Selection Jury, and many other boards. 

He is now working as the District Medical Officer in  Kerala and continues to make films. 

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Thank you to our community partner for this screening, The South Asia Institute at UT- Austin, the Austin Film Society, and the Austin Film Commission!!

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Writer/Director:      BIJUKUMAR DAMODARAN (Dr. Biju)

Producer(s):            BABYMATHEW SOMATHEERAM
                                SOMA CREATIONS


D.O.P:                     M.J.RADHAKRISHNAN

Editor:                     DAVIS MANUEL

Sound Mixing:        PRAMOD THOMAS 


Original Music:       BIJIBAL 

Art Director:           JYOTHISH SHANKAR


                                SANU PURUSHOTHAMAN


INDRANS as 'Father'



KRISHNAN BALAKRISHNAN as "Friend in Himachal'

ASHOK KUMAR as 'Friend in Kerala'

PRAKASH BARE as 'District Collector'

MELWYN WILLIAMS  as 'Land Lord In Himachal


Additional Crew: 

Costume Designer:     ARAVIND .K.R

Make-up:                      PATTANAM SHAH 

Location Sync Sound: JAYADEVAN CHAKKADATH                                                  SMIJITH KUMAR.P.B

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