Thiruvananthapuram: Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday inaugurated the 27th International Film Festival of Kerala at Nishagandhi auditorium here.
He switched on a professional arc lamp instead of lighting a traditional lamp.
Stressing the significance of film festivals, he said such events not only provide an opportunity for entertainment and enjoyment of movies but also reflect on human life and circumstances across the globe.
"It is a time when attempts are being made to turn film festivals as tools for the propagation of narrow ideologies," he said.
Iranian director Mahnaz Mohammadi, who fights for women’s freedom in Iran, won the Spirit of Cinema Award 2022. Greek director and jury member Athina Rachel Tsangari received the award on behalf of Mahnaz as the Iran authority imposed a travel ban on her for participating in the recent protests.
Pointing out the inability of Iranian filmmaker-activist Mahnaz Mohammadi to receive the 'Spirit of Cinema' award due to the travel ban, Vijayan recalled her recent words that she was treated as a criminal in her country as she is a woman and a filmmaker.
If the work of a filmmaker even caused a ban on her travels, imagine how much her films have disturbed the authorities there, he said.
Cultural minister VN Vasavan presided over the event.
French movie ‘Tory and Lokita’ is the inaugural film of the festival.
Over 1,200 delegates, 3,000 students, and 200 film workers are participating in the festival that screens 186 movies.