The organisers of the 21st edition of International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) have given entry passes to 13,000 film buffs who will be able to choose from a bouquet of around 184 national and international films in 10 sections. The festival was inaugurated by culture Minister AK Balan by handing over the entry pass to actor Manju Warrier. Later Manju gave the entry pass to transgender activist Sheethal Shyam. This is the first time that the transgender category has been introduced at the festival.
This year's festival, always held in the capital city, runs between December 9 to December 16. The event will see 490 screenings at 13 screens and will cost Rs 7 crore.
The IFFK, that's staged soon after the International Film Festival of India in Goa, has over the years become a hugely popular festival in the world cinema circuit.
It is organised by Kerala State Chalachitra Academy for the Cultural Affairs Department of the Kerala government.
Addressing reporters here on Wednesday, Academy chairman and veteran film director Kamal said this time there are various segments apart from the usual routine of film screenings.
"Along with the festival, we are showcasing a folk festival which will see 150 artistes performing various folk arts," he said.
"Besides that, there will also be an interesting section which displays the yesteryear's film notices, song books and similar curios. Then come seminars, symposiums and special sections that showcase Adoor Gopalakrishnan and K. Sethumadhavan," said Kamal.
"We spend around Rs 1 crore to get the films. Ours is a modest festival when it comes to spending, but in terms of rating, nationally ours is rated the best, while in Asia it has got a very high rating too. It's not the spending that makes a festival rich, but its contents," said Beena Paul, Artistic Director of the festival.