The 15th edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala, starting in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday, will witness the screening of a rich repertoire of films from Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Werner Herzog, a big name in German New Wave Cinema, is being honoured with Lifetime Achievement Award at the festival, organised by the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy, established under the Department of Cultural Affairs in Kerala in 1998 to promote creative expression through the film media.

As many as 207 films are being screened at eight theatres in the city over the eight days of the festival from Friday. Fourteen films from Asia, Africa and Latin America, produced in 2009 and 2010, are in the competition section.

The craft of contemporary masters such as Werner Herzog, Olivier Assayas, Maria Novara, Apichatpong Weerasethakal will be on display at the festival through the screening of their masterpieces. Five films by each of them are included in the festival in a section devoted to them.

The retrospective section includes films by Rainer Werner Fassbinder, a leading name in German New Wave Cinema and T.V. Chandran, acclaimed Malayalam film director. Seven films by each of them are being screened in this section.

Twelve Flamenco films from countries such as Spain, Cameroon and Tanzania, a package of six new films from Africa, a package of seven movies bringing out the newest in Indian cinema and a section devoted to Japanese classical films are some of the other attractions of the festival.

A special feature of the festival is a section titled ‘Highnoon Malayalam Cinema,’ in which are included one film each by G. Aravindan, G.S. Panicker, P.A. Backer, John Abraham and K.G. George, representing the period of experimentation in Malayalam cinema in the 1970’s and 1980’s.

Sixty films produced since 2008 in countries all over the world by established directors and bold new experimentalists are in the section devoted to World Cinema.

The festival will also pay homage to Malayalam film personalities such as Venu Nagavally, Girish Puthenchery, M.G. Radhakrishnan, Cochin Haneefa, Sreenath, Azeez, Adoor Pankajam and Mankada Ravivarma, who died during the course of the year that had gone by. There are seven movies in this homage section.