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Film fete begins in Thrissur

Special Correspondent
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Writer Sara Joseph hands over a Tsunamika doll to filmmaker K. P. Kumaran at the inaugural function of the International Film Festival of Thrissur. —Photo: K. K. Najeeb
Writer Sara Joseph hands over a Tsunamika doll to filmmaker K. P. Kumaran at the inaugural function of the International Film Festival of Thrissur. —Photo: K. K. Najeeb

The Eighth International Film Festival of Thrissur (IFFT) began here on Friday. The themes of the five-day festival are: ‘Woman and child’ and ‘Voices from the margins’.

Therambil Ramakrishnan, MLA, inaugurated the festival. To mark the inauguration, he handed over a Tsunamika doll to a guest. The dolls were also given to members of the audience.

Tsunamika dolls are made by women in tsunami-affected villages in Pondicherry under a project conceived by Upasana Design Studio at Auroville. The idea is to create awareness about the devastating December 26 tsunami and provide a livelihood to women affected by the disaster.

The environment-friendly handmade dolls are given away free around the world.

Mayor I. P. Paul presided.

Filmmaker K. P. Kumaran was felicitated at the function.

“I have been ignored and neglected all my life. Hence, the felicitation comes as a surprise. It gives me joy as it is the outpouring of love of some of my friends who are putting the festival together. At the same time, I do not believe that filmmakers need to be feted. Filmmaking is an ordeal. Cinema is beyond box-office successes and awards. The memories of viewers about his work are perhaps the only thing that a filmmaker can aspire for,” Mr. Kumaran said.

Sara Joseph, writer and festival director, said the themes of the festival were relevant in these times of strife and the context of increasing atrocities against women.

“Women are facing trouble everywhere. The incident at New Delhi has revealed the mindset of both women and men towards women. How women view their counterparts is as important as how men view the opposite sex? Are women to be relegated as mere sex objects as our films often do? The attitude towards women is evident in the recent remarks of judicial experts and politicians. The fight against the attitude should be relentless,” she said.

Corporation Education Standing Committee chairman and Congress leader Jos Kattukaran, film directors K. Gopinathan, Jayan Cherian, Unni Vijayan, film critic I. Shanmughadas, artist Damodar Nambidi, Thrissur Press Club president Joy Mannur, festival executive director Cherian Joseph and working chairman Jossie Chandy were present.

The films, ‘Liberty’, ‘Mother and Son’, ‘Sanshiro sugata’ and ‘Intimate Grammar’ were screened on Friday.

The festival includes a retrospective of the films of Akira Kurosawa; packages of films from Turkey and Hungary; special sections devoted to the works of American experimental filmmaker Maya Deren and German auteur Helma Sanders-Brahms; and movies on issues related to Dalits, tribes and other marginalised communities. The other sections include ‘Indian Panorama’ and ‘Debut Movies’.

Seminars and discussions will be held.

‘Exposition 2013’, an exhibition of paintings and installations, is being held at the Sree Theatre.

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