IDSFFK: Zestive mode
TNIE presents a quick scan of the 15th edition of IDSFFK
KOCHI: For the past six days, cinephiles have been flocking to the capital city for the International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (IDSFFK). The 15th edition of the festival, organised by the Kerala State Chalachithra Academy, featured 286 films from 44 countries.
H Shaji, the deputy director of the Academy, said these films have been handpicked from a pool of over 1,000 entries in every category. “It is the first time in the festival’s history that we’ve got that many entries,” he said.
Shaji further adds that there there’s enough in the 15th edition to inspire young filmmakers and students. “The ‘homage package’ would indeed be an educational experience. It features the journeys of the masters in the film industry and is not available to watch anywhere else,” he adds.
In addition to this, there are also specially-curated packages such as Soundscapes, which features five films on music and musicians; the Sundance animation package; and the Lines and Strokes package. With these, it is clear that, unlike previous editions, this year’s festival has also become a space to explore art through visual elements.
The package A Sense of Place showcases films of six Iranian filmmakers mentored by German visionary filmmaker Wim Wenders. They are among the 19 women filmmakers that this year’s festival boasts.
Podium for the queer
The festival has always been a podium to talk about the marginalised communities in society. Like before, this year, too, showcases several queer films. The notable ones are:
The Teddy Award winner for best LGBTQ-themed short film at the Berlin International Film Festival, Dipped in Black, and the 2022 Cannes Queer Palm Award winner, Will You Look at Me? are screened in the festival’s Winners section.
Iyaan Patta, directed by Fabin P Thomas in the Malayalam Non-competition Short Fiction section, is an adaptation of Fyodor Doestovesky’s White Nights, exploring the turmoil faced by two gay individuals in a society hostile to such ideas. Balaram J Warrier’s 4AM sets the scene in Kochi’s nightlife, focusing on the unique bond between a security guard and a sex worker. Amor: The Tune of Love, by Jijo Kuriakose Kurian, portrays the emotional elements of gay romance.
Avenue to learn film fest curation
One of 19 women filmmakers at the festival is Shimla-based Dev Kanya Thakkur. In her second outing at IDSFFK, Dev premiered her new documentary, Anjali. “It is about a young girl who got imprisoned with her mother in Himachal Pradesh, and is a reflection on women behind bars,” Dev says. Dev, who organises the Shimla Film Festival, says IDSFFK is a platform to understand nuances of curating a large-scale film fest.