Thiruvananthapuram: Iranian director Mahnaz Mohammadi, who won the 'Spirit of Cinema Award' of the 27th edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala, sent a clump of her hair to the inaugural ceremony. She missed the event as Iran authorities imposed a travel ban on her for participating in the recent protests over the murder of Mahsa Amini by the now-defunct Guidance Patrol police.
Iran scrapped its morality police after more than two months of protests triggered by the death of Mahsa following her arrest for allegedly violating the country's strict female dress code. Many women had cut their hair in protest against the Iranian government.
Greek director and jury member Athina Rachel Tsangari received the award on behalf of Mahnaz at the event held at Nishagandhi auditorium on Friday afternoon. Athina showed Mahnaz's locks to the thundering crowd.
Chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Friday inaugurated the festival. Jury chairman German director Veit Helmer attended the event. Cultural minister VN Vasavan presided over the event. The festival booklet was released by general education minister V Sivankutty.
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.