‘Open Forum’, an arena for discussion of cinema during film festivals which was ‘disowned’ by organisers of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) this year citing ‘unruly behaviour’ by participants, began an earnest attempt to stay alive here on Sunday.

Organized by the Federation of Film Societies of India (FFSI), the event saw an encouraging turnout of cinema lovers at the P.G. Pavilion set up next to the Kairali Theatre Complex, one of the main venues of the 17 IFFK. The forum was inaugurated with a discussion on ‘Festivals as a Democratic Space; Remembering PG’ as its theme.

Paying tributes to the late P. Govinda Pillai, one of the key figures in nurturing the Open Forum concept from its inception in 1988, filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan said the Forum owed a lot to Mr. Pillai, a scholar and political activist whose mind was always open and fertile.

Inaugurating the event, Mr. Gopalakrishnan said for some strange reasons the IFFK organisers had decided not to have any official association with the forum, a concept that was born before the IFFK began. The Open Forum, which was first held during ‘Filmotsav’, the international film festival held in Thiruvananthapuram in 1988, was not one intended to criticise the festival, but to supplement what the festival does, he said.

He said it was important for the Open Forum to reinvent itself.