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FESTIVE SPIRIT: Kairali Theatre, the main venue of the 13th IFFK, is all decked up for the festival which begins on Friday.
FESTIVE SPIRIT: Kairali Theatre, the main venue of the 13th IFFK, is all decked up for the festival which begins on Friday.

Staff Reporter

Folk art forms to be staged at inaugural function on Friday

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A cultural extravaganza by the Kerala Folklore Academy will mark the opening of the 13th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) to be inaugurated by Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan on Friday. A specially-choreographed programme based on the theme ‘Women in ritual arts’ will be staged by artistes from the Folklore Academy at the opening ceremony at the Nishagandhi open-air auditorium.

Rustic ritual art forms of Kerala featuring women characters, including ‘Mudiyattom’, ‘Kolam Thullal’, ‘Thirayattom’ and ‘Theyyam,’ will be showcased as part of the presentation directed by A.K. Nambiar. ‘Lanka Lakshmi,’ the IFFK logo designed by G. Aravindan will also be featured in the puppet show by Ramachandran Pulavar.

A host of dignitaries from filmdom will be present at the inaugural function. Argentinean filmmaker Fernando Birri and actor K.R. Vijaya will be the chief guests. Cultural Affairs Minister M.A. Baby and Revenue Minister K.P. Rajendran will attend the inaugural function. Laila’s Birthday, the opening film of the festival, by Palestinian director Rashid Masharawi will be screened at Nishagandhi soon after the inauguration.

On the eve of the festival on Thursday, delegates were seen crowding the Kalabhavan Theatre where the delegate cards are issued. However, delay in issuing delegate kits containing the film schedule and festival booklet did cause inconvenience to many, especially those who wished to book their seats in theatres. The online reservation for balcony seats in all the eight festival theatres began on Wednesday evening.

The eight-day festival will showcase 182 films from 53 countries. As many as 14 films, including two Malayalam films, have been included in the competition section. African filmmaker Idrissa Ouedraogo will head the jury of the 13th IFFK. Iranian film-maker Samira Makhmalbaf , Brazilian director Lucia Murat, Alieva Sitora from Russia and Jabbar Patel (India) are the other jury members. There will also be separate juries representing Fipresci (International Federation of Film Critics) and NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema).

Around 145 artistes, including 41 directors from 23 countries, are expected to attend the 13th IFFK, including representatives of foreign film distributors.

The festival this time will also have workshops for budding scriptwriters and film journalists.

The script-writing workshop will be led by Canada-based Praxis Centre for Screenwriter in association with Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute. It will be held at Vyloppili Samskrithi Bhavan from December 16. The workshop for film journalists will be held at Hotel Horizon from December 12. Two seminars on ‘Women and films’ and ‘Films, country, nationality’ will also be conducted as part of the festival.

A new section featuring milestone films in the history of 50 years of cinema, the Master’s Stroke section featuring films by Fernando Birri and the Retrospectives of celebrated Israeli director Amos Gitai and the legendary Alain Resnais are some of the highlights of the festival.

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