KOCHI: Though the unprecedented shutdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 has brought the entertainment industry to a total standstill, the government decision to organise the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) – one of the most anticipated film festival in the state – has brought cheer to scores of cinephiles.After weeks of impasse, the Kerala State Chalachithra Academy is gearing up to invite submissions for IFFK 2020, which would mark the silver jubilee of the fest. According to him, holding an online festival will be a challenge. “It is the silver jubilee year and we cannot miss this year’s fest at any cost. We will immediately start the selection process.
Submissions will be invited soon and we aim to organise the fest ahead of the election declaration in January or February. We need a minimum of four months to prepare. We usually begin the preparations by June or July,” said Kamal. But, there are hurdles. “More than 75 per cent of the movies which would be showcased at IFFK is unreleased. So, the distributors and filmmakers of international films may not prefer to screen them online due to piracy issues. We will develop a safe inhouse online platform for the fest,” said Kamal.
The director thinks festival movies are meant to be watched on the big screen. “Our first preference is theatres. Once they reopen, we will block them as we need more halls due to social distancing norms,” Kamal said. However, there will not be any inaugural or closing ceremony. “The inauguration will be held online. The academy would be coming out with regulations and will not allow participation of people falling under the high-risk group, including the elderly,” Kamal said.
However, there will not be a scarcity of content. “The academy is flooded with enquiries from filmmakers. Plenty of movies are in the post-production stage. We are waiting for theatres to reopen,” he said. Last year, the academy has to find funds from other sources for conducting the festival because of back-to-back floods. However, this year, there will not any foreign guests or delegates. “We spend a huge sum on foreign delegates which we will be able to divert to organising the festival this year,” said Kamal.