The jury members of most film festivals are oriented towards a common outlook and their selection of films could be decided by the politics they share, film director K.R. Manoj has said.

Mr. Manoj, whose first feature film Kanyaka Talkies has been selected as the opening film at the Indian Panorama in the International Film Festival of India to be held at Goa from November 20 to 30, was speaking at a meet-the-press programme here on Wednesday.

In reply to a question on his reaction to his film not finding a place in the competition section at the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), he said that films which did not have a politics matching with that of the jury found it hard to get in. Mr. Manoj’s film, which has also been selected in the competition section of the Mumbai film festival and for screening at the Kolkata film festival, has been included in the ‘Malayalam Cinema Now’ section at the IFFK.

Kanyaka Talkies displays a tendency to deviate from the Left leniency that is a common character of films selected at the festival,” said Mr. Manoj.

The film, which was adapted from a short story written by P.V. Shajikumar, is centred on a C-grade theatre. It stars Murali Gopi, Lena and theatre actor Alencier Ley in major roles.

“The number of C-class theatres in the State has reduced by one third in the past one decade. With this, a cultural space has also disappeared.

Kanyaka Talkies tries to explore this loss and it is also about a situation where four of the major colonial imports — religion, films, sense of guilt and curiosity — mix. The narrative hinges on the impact created by certain audio hallucinations. Hence sound design has an important part to play,” he said.

Mr. Manoj had earlier directed a documentary ‘A Pestering Journey’ which dealt with the impact of Endosulfan pesticide in Kasargod. It won the National Award for the Best Investigative film in 2011.

“I did not plan for the documentary. I went there for some other work and after seeing the sufferings of the people there, had a thought of documenting it. Even while shooting, I had a doubt whether we were right in doing this as there is a kind of violence involved in filming their sufferings,” said Mr. Manoj.

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