The 11th International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala organised by the Kerala Chalachitra Academy in Thiruvananthapuram kicks off on Friday. But what makes the fest one to watch out for is that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced the film winning the best long documentary at the festival can directly compete in the non-fiction category of the Oscars.
The festival will see more than 200 films with 64 of them in the competition category. Apart from long and short documentaries and short fiction, there will also be animation films and music videos. The films will be screened at the Kairali, Sree and Nila theatres.
The opening film of the fest is the documentary Human Flow, which will be screened after the inaugural ceremony by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan.
Human Flow, directed by renowned filmmaker Ai Weiwei, is a film captured over an eventful year through 23 countries, showing the plight of humans who have been displaced from their homes due to war, climate change and famine.
Renowned filmmaker Anand Patwardhan will be honoured with the Lifetime Achievement award. Eight of his films will be screened at the festival.
The fest will include a special package called Engaging With Sexuality, and another called Cinephilia. There will also be 20 Iranian short films which has won accolades at different international film festivals. Homage will be paid to late filmmaker Indira Zen and her film Catharsis will be screened. Five films of cultural critic Lata Mani will also be featured.
The competition category films will be judged by a jury comprising Palestininan
The cash prizes include Rs 2 Lakh for the best long documentary, Rs 1 lakh for the best short documentary, Rs 2 Lakh for the best short film, and Rs 50,000 for the best campus film from Kerala. The fest ends on July 24.