12 Tamil films to compete at Chennai International Film Festival; stars to perform at ceremonies

Aamir Khan and Kamal Haasan will participate in the opening ceremony of the eleventh edition of the Chennai International Film Festival organised by the Indo Cine Appreciation Foundation (ICAF), supported by the government of Tamil Nadu and jointly presented by The Hindu and Puthuyugam.

The festival to be held between December 12 and 19 across eight screens in five venues — Woodlands, INOX, Abhirami, Casino and Rani Seethai Hall — will have its opening and closing ceremonies at Sir Mutha Venkatasubba Rao Concert Hall. 

The grand inaugural on December 12 will feature performances by Shobana, Swarnamalya, singer Karthik and Anil Srinivasan. Actor Mohanlal will participate in the closing ceremony on December 19, said Suhasini Maniratnam, who heads the organising team of industry volunteers, at a press conference on Thursday evening.

Music director Anirudh, who will also perform at the closing ceremony, will be awarded the Amitabh Bachchan award for Youth Icon of the Year.  A total of 163 films from 58 countries including 12 Tamil films (part of a competition), 17 from Indian Panorama and three documentaries on Ellis R. Dungan, Gemini Ganesan and K. Subramanyam will be screened during the festival.

“We also have retrospectives of Goran Paskaljevic from Serbia (seven films), French filmmaker Claire Denis (five films) and Istvan Szabo from Hungary (three films) and we have a special section showcasing six films from contemporary Turkey apart from a country focus on Taiwan and Iran,” festival director Thangaraj told journalists.

S. Kannan, president of ICAF, said there were four important aspects behind the success of the festival. “Content, sponsors, organising effort and publicity by the media,” he said.

“The organisers will participate in a flash mob and Zumba by the beach to promote the festival. Three forums — two in Tamil at Rani Seethai Hall and one in English at Woodlands — have also been planned,” actor Mohan said.

The Tamil films in competition will be judged by a jury comprising actress Sripriya, director R.V. Udayakumar and writer S. Ramakrishnan.

V. Jayanth, managing editor, The Hindu, said, “It is our duty to be associated with the festival. It is a part of our commitment to own Chennai. All that we expect is for people to have the best from around the world.”

Shyam Kumar, CEO of Puthuyugam, said the newly-launched channel was interested in the festival because of three reasons: “The cause — to take movies to the common man; the common man who will otherwise not have the opportunity to watch films from around the world, and thirdly, to celebrate Chennai along with them.”

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