IFFK opens with tributes to dead and missing fishermen
Thiruvananthapuram: Candles were today lit to pay tributes to victims of cyclone Ockhi which had wrought havoc on the Kerala coast, as curtains went up on the International Film Festival of Kerala here on a sombre note.
The organisers decided to do away with the traditional opening ceremony since the state is still coming to terms with the cyclone which has claimed 38 lives. Ninetysix persons missing along the coastal stretch are still to be traced. At the opening ceremony, the dignitaries on stage lit candles along with hundreds of delegates.
Those on stage included chief guests veteran Bengali actress Madhabi Mukherjee and actor Prakash Raj, renowned filmmakers-- Aparna Sen and Adoor Gopalakrishnan-- besides Oscar winner Rasool Pookutty and Kerala chalachitra academy chairman Kamal.
The 22nd edition began with the screening of the French-Lebanese movie "The Insult", which explores the lives of refugees in the Arab countries. Directed by Lebanese filmmaker Ziad Doueiri, "The
Insult" narrates how interpersonal tussles question the judicial system and thereby lead to international catastrophe. Brazil is the country in focus this year at the festival.
Meanwhile, in protest against their films not getting entry into the IFFK, a parallel film festival 'Kazhcha' is being organised by a group of filmmakers led by Sanal Kumar Sasidharan, whose controverisal Malayalam film 'S Durga' was not screened at the Goa film fest. The state government has made it clear that 'S Durga' will be screened at IFFK only if it gets clearance from the
court. The Central Board of Film Certification had cancelled the film's certification on November 28 following which the film's producer and director had moved the Kerala High Court, challenging the decision.
As many as 190 films from 65 countries would be screened at the week-long festival this year. The competition section includes 14 films of which two are Malayalam. Films will be exhibited in 20 various categories like 'Indian Cinema Today', 'Malayalam Films Today', 'Contemporary Masters in Focus', 'Retrospective and Identity and Space.' Six films curated by film scholar Stefan Solomon, will be exhibited in this section, Academy sources said. The festival would feature films of as many as 35 women directors under various categories and they would focus on the subject of "Being Woman." The films to be screened include those that have encapsulated the essence of being a woman, and would narrate tales of varied emotions and intense experiences, they said.
Among the 14 films that would be screened as part of the "International Competition" section, four are made by women. Rima Das is the only woman director in the "Indian Cinema Now" section.
In the "Uprooted: Films on identity and space" category, Geethu Mohandas’ film "Liar's Dice" will be screened.
Aparna Sen, who will deliver the Aravindan Memorial lecture, will also screen her latest feature film "Sonata", which is about three unmarried women living in a metropolis. Marco Mueller, who was the festival director of various international film festivals, is the IFFK Jury Chairman this year.
Filmmakers T V Chandran, Colombian actor Merlin Moreno, French editor Mary Stephen, African film critic Aboubakar Sanogo are among the other jury members. The fest will pay homage to renowned cinema personalities Om Puri, Kundan Shah, K R Mohanan, I V Sasi, and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa. With Malayalam film industry turning 90 this year, Kerala State Chalachitra Academy (KSCA) has also organised an exhibition tracing the industry's glorious past to coincide with IFFK. PTI