Film enthusiasts who gathered for the first screening at the Saritha-Savitha-Sangeetha theatre complex in Kochi on Sunday. Express
The anticipatory wait has ended for the film aficionados in the city as on Sunday the screens at Saritha, Savitha, Sangeetha, Sridhar and Durbar Hall Grounds became the stage for Latin American, European and Asian movies.
With a stellar line-up of nearly 100 films (Indian and international), the first Kochi International Festival (KIFF) is expected to get a warm response.
Film enthusiasts in the city who are mostly exposed to watching commercial flicks in Malayalam, Tamil, Hindi and English are rejoiced over the chance of getting to watch classics and realistic films for the next six days.
“It is a different experience to watch socially-committed films of international acclaim. Till now if one wanted to watch such films, one had to wait for International Film Festival of Kerala. But for that one needs to go to Thiruvananthapuram. Kochi is a cosmopolitan city and a favourite hub for tourists. But I am happy after much wait the stage is set in Kochi too,” said Aneesh Paul, actor.
Even on a Sunday when people liked to sit at home, film buffs around the city were present for the screenings. The organisers hope more lively audience in the coming days.
“We are organising KIFF for the first time and all preparations were done in just one-and-a-half months’ time but that has not affected the festival in any way. Around 1000 passes had already been distributed and more requests are coming for delegate, corporate and other passes,” said Johnson, a KIFF member.
Women in city are also equally excited about the event. “As a woman it becomes difficult for us to travel to Thiruvananthapuram for IFFK. So I had never got a chance to watch an international film festival. Besides, the films screened at film fests discuss topics of international relevance,” said Dr K Dhanalakshmy, professor, St Alberts College. She says the feel it gives to watch films in big screen is different. “Besides conducting annual film festival, Kochi should have a permanent venue to showcase world cinema,” she said.