International Film Festival of Kerala expresses solidarity with people of war-torn Palestine on opening day

CM Vijayan said the festival uniquely "strives to stand in solidarity with the struggles of the Palestinian people."


Published Dec 09, 2023 | 11:53 AMUpdatedDec 09, 2023 | 11:54 AM

Pinarayi Vijayan addressing the 28th IFFK

The 28th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) began at the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram, by expressing solidarity with the people of war-torn Palestine.

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan virtually inaugurated the festival at a grand event held at the Nishagandhi open-air auditorium on Friday, 8 December. The event was presided over by Minister for Culture Saji Cherian.

Vijayan said the festival uniquely “strives to stand in solidarity with the struggles of the Palestinian people”, making it a rare distinction among film festivals.

Spirit of Cinema award

The chief minister also said that by conferring the “Spirit of Cinema” Award to Kenyan artist Wanuri Kahiu, the state was expressing its commitment to support those who strive for freedom and expression.

“Kenya’s history is rich with struggles including the Mau Mau rebellion, a prominent uprising in the history of anti-colonial movements. Even though the occupying forces have left Kenya, remnants of colonialism remain in that land. Wanuri Kahiu, as a socially committed artist challenging taboos and objections, embodies the spirit of the resistance against such remnants,” Vijayan said in his virtual address.

Mayor Arya Rajendran presented the “Spirit of Cinema” award to Kahiu.

Actor Nana Patekar, the chief guest at the festival, spoke at the event and expressed his eagerness to be part of Malayalam cinema.

More than 12,000 delegates are expected to participate in the eight-day festival where 175 international movies from 81 countries will be screened.

Also Read: Kerala HC issues guidelines to handle sexually explicit digital evidence

Movies to be screened

The movie Good Bye Julia (2023), the first film to be selected for the Cannes Film Festival from Sudan, was screened as the inaugural movie at this year’s festival.

Seven films will be screened in the anti-colonisation package against the backdrop of heightened tensions in West Asia.

Fourteen movies will compete with each other in the international competition section and 12 movies will be screened under the “Malayalam Today” section.

Noted Polish director Krzysztof Zanussi will be given the “Lifetime Achievement Award” at the festival and his movies will be screened under the retrospective section.

Under the ‘Country Focus” section six movies from Cuba will be screened. Special packages including contemporary masters, neo-Latin movies, and movies from women directors under the label, “The Female Gaze” will be another attraction at the festival.

The movie that wins the “Suvarna Chakoram” award will be given a cash award of ₹20 lakh.

Several cultural and art shows are also planned as part of the festival at Manaveeyam Veedhi, the first nightlife centre in Kerala.

Coordinating with the IFFK, the Kerala Film Development Corporation (KSFDC) will be organising a “Kerala Film Market”, offering a B2B platform for the Malayalam film industry with international producers and co-producers.

KSFDC is also organising a cine expo at Tagore Theatre, the main venue for the 28th IFFK.

Related: Kerala HC seeks report on alleged unauthorised access of memory card in actor assault case

(Disclaimer: The headline, subheads, and intro of this report along with the photos may have been reworked by South First. The rest of the content is from a syndicated feed, and has been edited for style.)