DHARAMSALA: The Kerala film industry went through ups and downs from the 1970s to the 1980s and then a downfall phase in 1990s.
However, the industry has started reviving in the recent years with films being made by the state's younger generation. Director of "Angamaly Diaries" , Lijo Jose Pellissery, credits the internet giving access to world cinema.
Pellissery was here at a panel discussion titled "Charting Troubled Waters", which consisted of filmmakers from five different countries speaking about what independent filmmaking stands for in their respective nations.
Moderated by film writer and critic Aseem Chhabra, the panel included filmmakers Yaniv Berman ("Land Of The Little People", Israel), Pellissery from India), Mano Khalil ("The Swallow", Switzerland) and Yoshinori Sato ("Her Mother", Japan), at the sixth edition of Dharamshala International Film Festival on Saturday.
"During the late 70s and 80s, it is supposed to be the golden era in Malayalam cinema because we had lot of filmmakers like Adoor Gopalakrishnan. Then it literally had a downfall in late 80s and 90s. Then such films started coming we cannot even talk about them going out and actually releasing," said Pellissery.
"Now the change is coming because the exposure to world cinema is much bigger. Earlier, very little amount of films used to come to Kerala. After the internet things have changed and the kind of education we get for films have changed," he added.
Speaking on how his movie was passed by the censorship board as the film has references to the controversial subject of pork, Pellissery said that luck was on their side.
"The best part is we (state censor board) have revised set of rules each month. We don't know what to cut, what to make most of the times. We expected 'Angamaly Diaries' to be chopped off since it had a lot of pork business and how the industry functions and we had to shoot a lot of things like that, " said the maker of "City of God" and "Amen".
"But what happened is that they expected the film to have a lot of bad words and focussed so much only on finding those words that they missed out the scenes on pork," he added.
"Angamaly Diaries" is an action comedy, set in a town of Angamaly in Kerala, where it takes only a dirty look to set off the tempers of local gang members.
The four-day film festival began on Thursday.