Thiruvananthapuram: The 22nd International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), which kicks off today in a low-key note in the wake of the devastation triggered by Cyclone Ockhi, will showcase 190 movies from 65 countries, with 80 films in the world cinema section and 14 in the competition segment.
The week-long festival opens with Lebanese director Ziyad Doueiri's Insult, an intense portrayal of the misery of Palestinian people.
Bengali actress Madhabi Mkherjee and National Award winning actor Prakash Raj will be the chief guests at the inaugural function at Tagore Theatre Friday evening.
Candelaria of Johnny Hendrix and Azerbaijani master Ilgar Najaf's Pomegranate Orchard are the international films in the competition segment. Randu Per (Two people) by Prem Shankar and Aden directed by Sanju Surendran are the Malayalam movies competing in IFFK.
The Indian movies in this segment are Kadwi Hawa by Nila Madhab Panda and Newton by Amit V Masurkar.
'Identity and Spaces'
The 'Identity and Spaces' section will feature six movies. These include Live from Dhaka from Bangladesh, Radio Dream by American Iranian director Babak Jalali, and Liar's Dice in Hindi directed by Malayali actor-director Geethu Mohandas.
Karl Marx from Germany, American film Mother and French Custody will be featured in the world cinema section, besides highly acclaimed movies from Africa, Latin America and Asia.
Sokurov to be honored
Reputed Russian director Alexander Sokurov will be honored for comprehensive contribution this year. Six of his films will be featured at the festival, including Father and Son, Francofonia and Russian Ark.
The retrospective section also will include movies by Filipino director Lono Brocka and Malayalam filmmaker K P Kumaran.
The section 'Contemporary Masters in Focus' will see movies by African director Mohammed Salih Haroon and Mexico's Michel Franco.
The festival has 21 packages in total, including Contemporary Asian Cinema, Restored Classics and Jury Films. 'Avalkoppam' (With Her) which features the life of Keralite women is a main attraction of this year's IFFK. A separate section is dedicated to Japanese animation movies.
Fourteen movies are listed for India Cinema Now and Malayalam Cinema Today. Angmalay Diaries, Take Off, Karutha Juthan (The Black Jew), Nayinte Hrudayam (Heart of a Dog), Athishayangalude Venal (The Summer of Miracles) and Thondimuthalum Driksakshiyum (Booty and the Witness) are to be screened.
Honoring movie geniuses
The festival will honor late movie geniuses J Jayalalithaa, who was the chief minister of Tamil Nadu, and Malayalam director I V Sasi. Their films will be screened in the 'Homage' section. Aaroodam, 1921, Aalkoottathil Thaniye, Mrugaya and Itha Ivide Vare are the I V Sasi films that will be screened.
Aayirathil Oruvan will be screened to honor Jayalalithaa. Incidentally, the hero of the movie is MGR.
There will also be screening of filmmaker K R Mohanan's works – Aswathamav, Purushartham and Swaroopam.
Govind Nihlani's Ardh Satya is listed as a tribute to Om Puri.
The number of delegates have been cut to 11,000 this year from 15,000 in 2016. This would mean a seating capacity of 8,848.
Instructions have been passed to strictly prohibit entry after the theaters are full in order to adhere to safety measures, a Chalachira Academy source told Onmanorama. This has already raised a furore with noted filmmaker Dr Biju questioning the rationale of such restrictions in a popular film fete.
However, private theater owners have informed the authorities that they would have to stick to this.