THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Twelve thousand delegates, 178 films and 14 venues - the curtains will go up for Kerala's most celebrated film fete, International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), on December 4. Tabla maestro Ustad Zakir Hussain will be the guest of honour at the opening ceremony to be held at Nishagandhi auditorium.
Dariush Mehrjui, an icon of new wave in Iranian cinema, will be felicitated with the Lifetime Achievement Award for his remarkable contribution to cinematic art. This year's signature film, a 25-second haiku, will be unveiled at the function.
Fourteen films, including Jayaraj's 'Ottal' and 'Chayam Poosiya Veedu' by Satish and Santosh Babusenan will vie for the coveted Golden Pheasant. The 20th edition of IFFK will officially start with the screening of Wolf Totem, a Chinese 3D drama directed by French filmmaker Jean-Jacques Annaud. Apart from the regular categories, this year there will be a package of 3D films along with 'Women Power' a handful of female-oriented films. 'First Look', another category showcases films by debutant filmmakers, while 'Based on True Stories' will be a package of films woven around real-life people and events. The 'Restored Classics' section will have some path-breaking films in the history of Indian cinema like 'Kaagaz Ke Phool' and 'Amma Ariyan.'
As part of the festival, the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy has joined hands with a spate of cultural forums, including Kerala Kalamandalam, Kerala Sahitya Akademi, Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi, Kerala Folklore Akademi and Bharat Bhavan. During the week, various classical art forms like Kathakali, Theyyam, Padayani, Mohiniyattam and Kerala Nadanam will be showcased at various venues.
ALL ARRANGEMENTS IN PLACE
Rajeev Nath, chairman of the Kerala Chalachitra Academy, said that all measures had been taken for the smooth functioning of IFFK. “All the details, including the schedule, was made available on the website much in advance. This festival can accommodate more delegates as the Nishagandhi open air auditorium has been converted into a temporary fully air-conditioned theatre with a seating capacity of 1,500. There will be two public screening venues this year. Manaveeyam Veedhi and the basket ball court of Central Stadium with a seating capacity of 1,000 will be the festival venues,” he said. He added that this year’s festival would feature an impressive potpourri of films from across the globe. “This is not an extravaganza like the Goa festival. IFFK has a strong academic nature compared to other fess. So we focus on films rather than the glam quotient,” he said.