THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: IFFK is one of Kerala’s favourite annual festivals, bringing people, ideas and world cinema together. Unlike previous years, this silver jubilee will see fewer viewers, venues and events, but the excitement is still intact in the capital city
The silver jubilee edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) — one of the most sought-after cultural events of the state — will be launched by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan at a function in Nishagandhi Auditorium at 6pm on Wednesday. The event that usually pulls in crowds from around the state will be organised in a low-key manner this year, with limited audience and strictly complying with Covid-19 protocols.
As many as 80 Indian and international movies will be screened in the Thiruvananthapuram region edition of the festival that concludes on Sunday. In the wake of the pandemic, the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy is planning to host the event in four different zones — Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thalassery (Kannur) and Palakkad — where the same movies will be screened. Four movies will be showcased at a theatre daily.
“We are strictly following the registration system for participation in the film festival and opening ceremony. The first 750 delegates registering online can attend the opening ceremony. Filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan will collect the lifetime achievement award on behalf of French New Wave filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard. Even at the International Film Festival of India (IFFI), the delegates were not tested. But we are doing that at IFFK, to do our best in terms of assuring safety of delegates,” said V K Joseph, executive member of the academy.
The delegates have to bring Covid-19 negative certificates within 48 hours of the event to take part in the festival. Joseph added that the academy is not insisting on the free antigen test at Tagore Theatre. “There are no additional programmes like previous years. Online forums and events will be hosted apart from movie screening,” he said. Passes for the shows on the first day of the festival have been sold out. A screening of ‘The Quo Vadis Aida?’ — a war drama by Bosnian director Jasmila Zbanic— at Nishagandhi will open the 25th IFFK soon after the inauguration. The festival will begin on February 17 in Ernakulam, on February 23 at Thalassery and conclude in Palakkad on March 5.
Temperature to be monitored
With the pandemic threat looming large, the academy has constituted a theatre technical committee to evaluate the screens and ensure safety protocols inside the theatres hosting the festival — Kairali, Sree, Nila, Kalabhavan, Tagore Theatre and Nishagandhi Open Air Auditorium. “Closed air-conditioned environment poses a higher risk. The committee evaluated the theatres and as per protocol, air-conditioning levels will be maintained between 24 and 30 degree celsius. Relative humidity will range between 40 and 70 per cent.
We have directed the theatres to strictly adhere to these conditions,” said Ajoy Chandran, secretary of the academy. “There will be only minimum human interaction. Thermal scanners at the entry points will check the temperature of the delegates. There would be volunteers inside the theatre halls to ensure that all safety protocols are being followed,” said Ajoy.
Testing ramped up
Meanwhile, antigen testing is fast progressing at Tagore Theatre, the main venue of the festival. Delegates taking part in the festival were screened in large numbers on Tuesday. “There were bound to be hiccups, including those with data entry. Today, we skipped a few technical procedures to cover more delegates. There was less crowding at the venue and delegates were able to leave the venue quickly,” said Ajoy. On day one of the testing, around 600 delegates were screened and 11 tested positive. “By Tuesday afternoon, the testing teams screened more than 500 delegates. We are expecting to cover the full list by tomorrow,” he said.
reservation of Seats begin
Seat reservation for films at the International Film Festival of Kerala started on Tuesday. All reservations have to be made one day before the screening of the movies. Seats can be reserved from 6am until an hour before the show. Only those who reserve seats in advance will be allowed to enter the theatres. Seat numbers will be made available to delegates via e-mail and SMS.
IFFK Film schedule
10 amNight of the Kings
(Director: Philippe Lacôte)
12.30 pm This is not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection (Director:Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese)
3.30 pm There is no Evil
(Director: Mohammad Rasoulof)
9.30 am Yellow Cat (Director: Adilkhan Yerzhanov)
12 pm February (Director: Kamen Kelav)
3 pm Where is Pinki? (Director: Prithvi Konanur)
6.15 pm Striding into the Wind (Director: Shujun Wei)
9.45 am Needle Park Baby (Director: Pierre Monnard)
12.15 pm Breathless (Director: Jean-Luc Godard)
2.45 pm Malu (Director: Edmund Yeo)
9.45 amOasis (Director: Lee Chang-dong)
1.30 pm - Paapam Cheyyathavar Kalleriyatte (Director: Shambhu Purushothaman)
4.15 pmThinkalazhcha Nishchayam (Director: Senna Hegde)
9.30 am Summer of 85 (Director: François Ozon)
12 pm The Names of the Flowers (Director: Bahman Tavoosi)
2.30 pm In between dying (Director: Hilal Baydarov)
5 pm Laila in Haifa (Director: Amos Gitai)
6 pmOpening ceremony followed by the screening of Quo Vadis, Aida?
(Director: Jasmila Žbani)