The third edition of the Female Film Festival organised by the Kerala Sthree Padana Kendram was inaugurated here on Friday.

The inaugural function at the Gandhi Park witnessed the coming together of women who have made their mark in various fields of art in the State. The lamp was lighted jointly by theatre artistes Nilambur Ayesha and Vijayakumari, singer P.K. Medini, Koodiyattam artiste Margi Sathi, dubbing artiste Bhagyalekshmi, and Mayor J. Chandrika.

T.N. Seema, MP, who presided over the function, said that festivals such as this provided the much-needed exposure to a different kind of film language to the women of Kerala. “The choice of films available to women in our State has been limited for a pretty long time. But film societies and film festivals have helped them to understand and carry out serious studies and analyses of serious cinema,” said Ms. Seema.

Nilambur Ayesha, in her inaugural address, lashed out at the recent moves of certain Muslim organisations to get the marriage age of girls lowered to 16.

“Having broken free from the shackles of a child marriage myself, I can tell you how inhuman it is. The progressive voices of the State should come together and fight all such tendencies,” she said.

P.K. Medini, known for her revolutionary songs, treated the audience to a rendition of ‘Red Salute.’

The festival is being held at the University Students Centre from September 27 to 30. The night screening at 7 p.m. will be held at the Gandhi Park.

A total of 16 films are being screened in the Indian cinema and World cinema sections. The Indian Cinema section include Aparna Sen’s ‘Mr. and Mrs. Iyer’ and ‘Paroma,’ Shyam Benegal’s ‘Manthan’ and ‘Bhumika,’ Rituparno Ghosh’s ‘Chithrangada’ and ‘Unishe April’ and Sujoy Ghosh’s ‘Kahaani.’ In the World Cinema section, the films to be screened are ‘Camille Claudel’ and ‘Persepolis’ from France, ‘Daughter Father Daughter’ and ‘Blackboards’ from Iran, ‘Caramel’ from Lebanon, ‘The Silences of the Palace’ from Tunisia, ‘Lucia’ from Cuba, ‘So close to life’ from Sweden, and ‘Gaslight’ from the U.S.

The entry fee for the festival is Rs.50 for students and Rs.200 for others. The film screenings will start at 9 a.m. on all days. Ph: 9495595666.