Special Correspondent

Films from 54 countries to be screened at fete

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: All arrangements have been made for the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) to begin here on Friday. Minister for Culture and Education M.A. Baby told reporters here on Wednesday that 231 films from 54 countries would be screened at eight theatres in the city. As many as 133 filmmakers, including those from abroad, will attend the festival.

Fourteen films have been selected in the competition section. This includes Naalu Pennungal directed by Adoor Gopalakrishnan and P.T. Kunhumuhammed’s Paradeshi. The 14 films were selected from 450 entries from 44 countries.

The jury headed by Iranian film-maker Jafer Fanahi will select the films vying for the top honours. The jury comprises African actor and director Naky Sy Savene; Polish scenarist Agnieska Holland; actor and producer Naseerudeen Shah; and Cuban Film Academy director Rigoberto Lopez. Journalist Sheila Johnston heads the Fipresci jury comprising Turkish critic Cunyet Cebenoyen and documentary filmmaker Varala Anand.

Mr. Baby said four seminars would be held in connection with the festival. Film critic Madhav Prasad will deliver the Aravindan memorial lecture at 5 p.m. on December 12 at Sree Theatre. The Open Forum will be held at New Theatre and face-to-face and discussions at Sree Theatre. The films will be screened at Ajanta, New Theatre, Kalabhavan, Kairali, Sree, Kripa, Dhanya and Remya theatres. The screenings in the ‘Malayalam cinema today’ section at Nisagandhi auditorium will be open to the public on all days.

Actor Kamal Hassan will inaugurate the festival at Nisagandhi auditorium on Friday evening. Twelve celebrities who contributed to the growth of Malayalam cinema will be honoured at the function. They are producers M.O. Joseph, K.N. Ravindranathan Nair, R.S. Prabhu, the former Film Archives director P.K. Nair, music directors, M.S. Viswanathan and M.K. Arjunan, playback singer S. Janaki, art director S. Konnanad, actors KPAC Lalitha, K.R.Vijaya, T.R. Omana, Santhadevi and makeup man Velappan. Folklore Academy’s Rhythm of Kerala will be presented at the inaugural venue.

Mr. Baby inaugurated the festival office at Kairali Theatre. www.iffk.keralafilm.com is the festival website.