A predominantly female panel formed the final episode of ‘Meet the Director,’ held at the Kairali theatre on Thursday as part of the 17th international film Festival of Kerala (IFFK).

The film-makers lamented the lack of space for off-beat films in their respective countries and stressed the need for more platforms such as the IFFK that attracted huge crowds every year.

Lucia Carreras from Mexico, representing her film Nos Vamos Papa and Turkish director Belmin Soylemez, whose film Present Tense had been screened during the festival, admitted to being awed by the reception they got for their films. Both their films have been enrolled in the competition category.

Turn out

“You judge a film festival by the participation it gets, and there is a fantastic culture for film watching here,” Ms. Belmin said.

On the occasion, an informal discussion unfolded on stage, with the two film-makers asking about issues regarding film distribution to director Dr. Biju. He said producers were more easily drawn towards those movies that held the promise of being huge box-office successes and independent film-makers focussing on unusual stories struggled.

“Distribution seems to be a problem all over,” said Ms. Lucia. She went on to explain that in Mexico, all films were supported by the State and none of them were the products of private investments. “You just produce what the State finances and another problem in my country is the invasion of American films. It is sad because all the exhibitors in Mexico tend to gravitate towards Hollywood and end up not protecting our own cinematography,” she said. Meghna Dubey, Director of Operations of the Ladakh International Film Festival, was also present.