To Let (film)

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To Let
A poster showing footprints
Directed byChezhiyan
Produced byPrema Chezhiyan
Written byChezhiyan
Edited byA. Sreekar Prasad
zha Cinema
Running time
99 min.

To Let is a 2017 Indian Tamil-language drama film written, directed and filmed by Chezhiyan. Produced by his wife Prema, the film stars Santhosh Sreeram, Suseela and Dharun as a family living in a rented house who are suddenly ordered by their landlady Aadhira Pandilakshmi to vacate.

At the 65th National Film Awards, it won in the category Best Feature Film in Tamil. At the 49th International film festival of India, Goa it won Special jury mention award in international competition. The film theatrically released on 21 February 2019 to highly positive reviews from critics, and became a success.


Illango is an assistant film director living with his wife Amudha and their five-year-old son Siddharth in a rented apartment. Their landlady is eager to lease that house to IT professionals for a higher rent, so she suddenly issues the family a 30-day notice to vacate.[1]



To Let is the directorial debut of Chezhiyan, and was produced by his wife Prema under the couple's own company La Cinema.[1][3] Chezhiyan also handled the cinematography[1] and wrote the script. Unlike in most Tamil films, he avoided including songs, claiming, "As we move closely towards realistic cinema, the first element that make an exit is the music. The sound of radio and television, the conversation of people and an auto on the road compensate for the music".

The film was completed in 25 days, and the cast were all newcomers.[2]

Release and reception[edit]

To Let was screened at numerous film festivals in 2017 and 2018, and was theatrically released on 21 February 2019.[4]

At the 65th National Film Awards, it won in the category Best Feature Film in Tamil.[1] It won the Best Indian film award in the Kolkata International film festival[5] Indian films competition in November 2017. It participated in Indian language competition in Bengaluru International film festival and won the FIPRESCI award 2018. It was selected in IFFI Goa 2018 in three major categories - International Competition, Centenary Award for the Best Debut Feature Film of a Director and Indian Panorama.

Critical reception[edit]

Academy Awards winner and Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi lauded the movie in an interview as "It is a pure film. I was moved by this subject and the acting was very good". Indian veteran filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan praised this movie as a "very very sensible, beautiful movie." Sri Lankan filmmaker Prasanna Vithanage praised it as a sincere movie with genuine concern.


  • Winner- Best Indian film- Kolkata International Film Festival, India
  • Winner- World Human Rights Silver Award - World Human Rights Awards, Indonesia
  • Winner- Best dramatic Feature - South Film and Arts Academy Festival, Chile
  • Winner- Best Sound Design - South Film and Arts Academy Festival, Chile
  • Winner- Best Lead Actress - South Film and Arts Academy Festival, Chile
  • Winner- Best Production Design - South Film and Arts Academy Festival, Chile
  • Winner- Best Child Actor, Oniros International Film Festival, Italy
  • Winner- FIPRESCI Award, Benglauru International Film Festival, India
  • Winner- Best Director, International Independent Awards, California
  • Winner- Best Feature Film, Eurasia International Film Festival, Eurasia
  • Winner- Best Feature film, Fuori Mercato - Como Independent Film Festival, Italy
  • Winner- Best Indie Film, European Cinematography Awards, Poland
  • Winner- World Woman Awards, Silver Award, Indonesia
  • Winner- Best Tamil film, 65th Indian National Awards, India
  • Winner- Best Director,Barcelona Planet Film Festival, Spain
  • Winner- Best Director,Innovative Film Festival, Bengaluru
  • Winner .Best Actress, Innovative Film Festival, Bengaluru
  • Winner- Best Feature Film - Rome Prisma Awards, Rome
  • Winner- Best Cinematography Award MIFF, Milano, Italy
  • Winner- Best Family Film - Best Fiction Film Festival,Los Angeles
  • Winner- Award of Merit Special Mention - the Indie Fest Film Festival, California
  • Winner- Silver Palm Award, Mexico International Film Festival, Mexico
  • Winner- Best Feature Film - Almaty Indie Film Festival, Kazakhstan
  • Winner- Best feature Film - Pondicherry International Film Festival
  • Winner- Best Director - Pondicherry International Film Festival
  • Winner- Best Editor - Pondicherry International Film Festival
  • Winner- Special Jury Mention award in International Competition - 49th IFFI Goa
  • Winner- Best Family Film, Family & Social International Film Festival White Whale Festival, Los Angeles
  • Winner- Best Indian Film, All Lights India International Film festival, Hyderabad
  • Winner- Best Actor, Cult Critic Movie Awards, India
  • Winner- Best Supporting Actress, Cult Critic movie Awards, India
  • Winner- Best Independent Film, Five Continent International Film festival, Venezuela


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Ramachandran, Mythily (18 April 2018). "Tamil film 'To Let' wins accolades". Gulf News. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b Kolappan, B. (20 November 2017). "Film that portrays the ordeal of house-hunting bags award". The Hindu. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
  3. ^ Jeshi, K. (16 April 2018). "Filmmaking is simple, says director Chezhiyan". The Hindu. Retrieved 22 April 2018.
  4. ^ "'To Let' to hit screens on February 21". The Times of India. 4 February 2019. Retrieved 25 March 2019.
  5. ^ Kolkata International film festival

External links[edit]