The 17th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) is turning out to be an ‘overwhelming’ experience for two first-time directors whose movies are being screened during the festival here.

Lucia Carreras, director of ‘Nos Vemos Papa’, from Mexico, and Emmanuel Quindo Palo, director of ‘Sta. Nina’, from Philippines, were both thrilled at being part of the IFFK, where their movies are part of the Competition section. Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, Ms. Carreras and Mr. Palo, both of whom are debutantes to directing movies, said the very experience of so many people watching movies, including their own works, was ‘overwhelming’ and a feeling that came to them in few other festivals or in their own countries.

Recalling his experience of a few years back when he watched the 1975 hit Hindi movie ‘Sholay’ in a Pune multiplex, Mr. Palo said the packed audience, many of whom knew the dialogues of ‘Sholay’ by heart, had astonished him. Having lived in India for three years as Indian Council for Cultural Relations scholar at the Film and Television Institute of India, Pune, and done a short film in Hindi as well, there was undoubtedly an Indian influence on him, he said.

‘Sta. Nina’ was his first feature film, having directed several award-winning short films and television series earlier. The subject was very close to the people of his land, with a religious backdrop and set in one of the oldest towns of Philippines.

For Ms. Carreras, the IFFK was becoming all the more impressive each day. Stating that she was happy to show her first movie as a director on ‘the other side of the world’, Ms. Carreras said she would love to see the people of her country flocking to theatres as people in India did. On her movie, ‘Nos Vemos Papa’, she said it was an intimate drama, an intimate story of emotions related to life and death and her own fear of death. Refusing to term it a psychological drama, Ms. Carrera said she had never planned the movie to have a psycho-analytical or Freudian shade.

Keywords: IFFK 2012