The festival will continue for a week until December 20.

Chennai International Film Festival kickstarts with Japanese film ShopliftersFacebook/CIFF
Flix Cinema Friday, December 14, 2018 - 17:16

The 16th edition of the Chennai International Film Festival was kicked off in the city on Thursday with an inaugural function held at Kalaivanar Arangam. The festival will continue for a week until December 20. Spearheaded by Indo Cine Appreciation Foundation (ICAF), CIFF is an annual event that showcases some of the best National and International films and draws a huge crowd of cinephiles, both young and old from across the state.

This year, the festival’s inaugural film was Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters. A film that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival this year, Shoplifters went on to win the Palme d’Or and also the Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Feature Film, in addition to being nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Flagging off the event in the city were Consul-Generals from Consulate General of Japan, Republic of Singapore and Iceland, Deputy Consul-General from the Republic of Korea, Deputy Director, TAIPEI Economic and Cultural Centre, Second Secretary Vice-Consul from Australian Consulate-General, the Honorary Consul from the Consulate of Switzerland, Head of Cultural Section from the Embassy of Brazil, Delhi, the Programme-coordinator from Goethe-Institute Chennai and Pro-Chancellor, Sathyabama Institute of Science and Technology.

The traditional lighting of the lamp was done by five eminent women from cinema. Well-known dancer and dance choreographer Kala, Vikram Vedha director Gayathri Pushkar, sound engineer Geetha Gurappa, costume designer Poornima Ramaswamy and art director Jayashree Lakshminarayanan.

Speaking at the event, ICAF President Kannan thanked the Tamil Nadu government for granting Rs 75 lakhs for the event. He also stated that a total of 149 films have been selected for screening at the festival this year.

Interestingly, CIFF is the only International film festival to have a local film competition. This time, a total of 12 Tamil feature films are being played, the winner of which will be selected by athree-memberr jury panel. Some of the films that are part of this competition include Lenin Bharathi’s Merku Thodarchi Malai, Mari Selvaraj’s Pariyerum Perumal, director Ramkumar’s Raatsasan and Vetri Maaran’s Vada Chennai.

This year, CIFF will screen a movie from Zambia for the very first time. Also, a very good selection of 13 films from GRULAC (Group of Latin American and Caribbean Countries) including films from Costa Rica is a specialty. This year, CIFF will also screen a film on sound engineer Rasool Pookutty in addition to 9 short films from MGR Film Institute. The festival is happening in 6 venues across the city - Devi Theatre, Devi Bala theatre, Russian Cultural Center, Casino theatre, Anna Theatre, and Tagore Film Centre.

Here are some of the films you should watch out for

1. Walking with the Wind - Ladakh

2. Rafiki - Kenya

3. Breathe and Song Keepers - Australia

4. A Man Called Death - Brazil

For more details on passes and schedules check out their Facebook page here.

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