International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) at 20!

The main attraction of this year’s IFFK is the acquisition of two public spaces for the screening of censored movies
International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) at 20!
International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) at 20!

The 20th edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) scheduled to be held from 4-11December in Thiruvananthapuram is to be rung in to the beats of tabla maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain. Eminent filmmaker Dariush Mehrjui who spearheaded Iran’s cinematic renaissance has been chosen for this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award consisting of a cash prize of Rs 5 lakhs and a citation.

A coffee-table book detailing the history and legacy of all the previous editions of IFFKs will be released during the opening ceremony. Claire Dobin -Director of Melba Festival- will deliver the Aravindan Memorial Speech this year. A workshop conducted by three internationally acclaimed technicians too has been planned.

Several internationally acclaimed filmmakers like Martin Sharman, Dobbin, Andrew Baird, Natalie David, Penny Smith, Anne Siebel and Nigel Walters are expected to attend this year’s festival. The Indian filmmaking fraternity is to be represented by renowned directors Shyam Benegal, Gautham Ghosh, Thota Tharani and Sreekar Prasad among others.

Celebrated Brazilian filmmaker Julio Bressane will head the five-member core jury. Other members include Moussinin Abza, Nadia Dresti, Maxin Williams and Janu Baruva. A core committee along with a technical committee headed by filmmaker Shaji N Karun have been formed.  Two other jury boards too have been constituted for the smooth conduct of the festival with Deric Malcom and Lathika Padgongar as members of the Fipresci Jury(International Federation of Film Critics) and the Netpac (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) comprising Siddique Marbak, Swarna Malvarchi and Meenaskhi Sheddey.

Besides increasing the number of theatres and their seating capacity, Nishagandhi has been transformed into a temporary fully air-conditioned theatre with a seating capacity of 3000. Theatres earmarked for the festival with their seating capacity are: Sree Kumar (1000), Sree Visakh (700), Dhanya (700), Remya (700), Tagore Theatre (900), Kairali (440), Sree (300), Nila (260), Kalabhavan (410), New Screen-1 (520), Screen-2 (200) and Screen-3 (200).

The main attraction of this year’s IFFK is the acquisition of two public spaces for the screening of censored movies. While Manaveeyam Veedhi has been selected as a venue for screening censored movies, the basketball court of Central Stadium with a seating capacity for a thousand people too is being considered to screen special movie packages.

A jury comprising Malayalam film director Kamal, Malathy Sahai and K R Mohan was assigned the task of selecting movies for this year’s fest. More than 80 foreign films which will feature in this year’s festival have been classified into ten categories:

International Competition Section (14)

Malayalam Cinema (7)

Indian Cinema (7)

Country Focus (Lithunia, Myanmar) (8)

World cinema (80)

Contemporary Masters (7)

Tribute to Vincent Master (3)

Retro International (10)

Jury Films/Lifetime Achievements (10)

Public Screening (7).

20 movies will also be screened as a special package coming under various categories such as 3-D, True Story, Women’s Side & New Directors, with five movies included in each section.

This edition will also have a Restored Classics category featuring some of the cult Indian movies such as:

Guru Dutt’s Kaagaz Ke Phool (Hindi/1959) 

John Abraham’s Amma Ariyan (Malayalam/1986)

Mrinal Sen’s Oko Oori Katha (Bengali/1977) based on Munshi Premchand’s story Kafan 

Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s Mathilukal (Malayalam/1989) based on Vaikom Muhammad Basheer’s autobiographical novel of the same name 

MS Sathyu’s Garam Hava (Hindi/1973) based on an unpublished work of short fiction by Ismat Chughtai

M.S. Sathyu’s Urdu drama Garam Hava (Hot winds) and 

Jabbar Patel’s Jait Re Jait (Marathi/1977).

The Competition Category features Srijit Mukherji’s Raj Kahini (Bengali) and Bauddhayan Mukherji’s The Violin Player (Hindi) among others. Korean filmmaker Kim ki-Duk’s latest movie Stop too will be screened in the Korean Panorama section.

In addition, the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy has finalised a list of seven films that will be showcased in the Indian Cinema Now section:

Manju Borah’s Dau Huduni Methai (Song of the Horned Owl/Bodo)

Debesh Chatterjee’s Natoker Moto (Like a Play/Bengali)

Manikandan Mathialagan’s Kutrame Thandani (Crime is Punishment/Tamil)

Kaushik Ganguly’s Cinemawallah (Bengali)

Amartya Bhattacharya’s Capital I (Odia)

B.S. Lingadevaru Nanu Avanalla Avalu (I am not He but She/Kannada)

Satarupa Sanyal’s Onyo Opalaa (The Journey of a Woman/Bengali).

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