To register their protest against not including ‘good films’ from Kerala in the Indian Panorama section of this year’s International Film Festival of India (IFFI), to be held next month, four Malayalam directors are planning an alternative screening of their films outside the official venues.
“Our intention is to present before the audience of IFFI a new set of Malayalam films that offer a unique cultural and aesthetic experience from this part of the land. I doubt whether the criteria behind the selection of films really suit the Indian Panorama section that is supposed to showcase the Indian culture and life,” says M.G. Sasi, director of Janaki .
Janaki had won the Best Children’s Rights Film award in the recently held Lola Kenya Festival. It has also got entry into the upcoming 12th Mumbai Film Festival, the 9th Third Eye Asian Film Festival and the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK).
“It is going to be a positive response. We would like to present before the world the real picture. They should not mistake Malayalam cinema for the ones that have now got selection in the Indian Panorama. Actually we are happy that we have not been selected along with those films," says Prakash Bare, producer of Janaki.
Dr. Biju, director of Veetilekkulla Vazhi (The way home), which will be the opening film of the Indian Frames section at the Mumbai festival, says some of the jury members who selected these films have no contemporary knowledge of Malayalam cinema. “They are still thirty years back. They have not been attending even the International Film Festival of Kerala for a long time. This attitude is totally against Malayalam cinema."
“I can accept the selection of Makaramanju, Electra, and to an extend Aathmakadha, considering it is a new comer’s film. But the selection of other two films is ridiculous,” complaints Dr. Biju whose film Saira had been screened at the Cannes Film Festival last year.
“Veetilekkulla Vazhi has been selected for the Cairo International Film Festival. It will be screened in the Chennai film festival also,” adds Dr. Biju.
Dr. Biju said director Ranjith’s Paleri Manikyam : Oru Pathira Kolapathakathinte Katha and R. Sukmaran’s Yugapurushan will also be presented along with Janaki and Veetilekkulla Vazhi to the IFFI audience outside festival venues.
Five Malayalam films have been selected for IFFI’s Indian Panorama section this year. They are Mummy and Me, directed by Jithu Joseph, Electra, directed by Shyamaprasad, Kalchilampu, directed by M.T. Anoor, Makaramanju, directed by Lenin Rajendran and Aathmakadha, directed by Prem Lal Premlal.