The annual International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala, which begins on Friday, has films by Amar Kanwar, Rajula Shah, Adela Peeva and Richard Leacock

The 50th International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (IDSFFK) 2012 has an impressive line-up, with viewers only needing to shuttle between the venues at Kalabhavan in Vazhuthacaud and Trans Towers next door, from June 8 to 12. Film director Gautam Ghoshe, as chief guest, inaugurates the festival. This might also be the year when what constitutes a documentary or a fiction film is redefined, says artistic director of IDSFFK, Bina Paul Venugopal.

Blurring the lines

“Amar Kanwar is just the person to set off the same line of thought. His films have blurred the lines between both genres of film-making.” Eight to 10 films by the documentary filmmaker are expected to be screened at the festival. Rajula Shah's Katha Loknath will be screened for the first time in India at the festival. It is a film which, Bina hopes, will encapsulate the theme of IDSFFK 2012.

Those who have admired the works of Bulgarian filmmaker Adela Peeva are in for a treat as she is attending the festival. A retrospective will include her films Whose Song Is This? and Divorce Albanian Style – a film with a direct take on the political scenario that changed the course of life for many in the Balkan region.

Homage will be paid to British filmmaker Richard Leacock through the screening of a rare package of his works. “His involvement with films goes back to 1934, using the equipment available then. It will be quite the package,” says Bina.

Although the competition is restricted to national entries, films from Afghanistan and Estonia mark the unique international entries this year. Bina says the festival has drawn young filmmakers from Afghanistan whose works will feature in IDSFFK's animation category, while the short films section has many entries from Estonia.

Package of African films

Also forming part of the international segment is a package of African films. The festival, like in the previous years, has a category on music videos. The jury faced the task of sifting through 600 entries to select the final 100. “We've included many in the Focus (non-competition) category. The response from the campus crowd of amateur filmmakers has been overwhelming this year,” Bina observes, adding that the jury has made sure such filmmakers are encouraged through a platform like IDSFFK.