Thiruvananthapuram: As curtains come down on the 19th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) on Friday, movie buffs are sensing a wave of appreciation for the immaculate conduct of the fete.
The festival has been growing stronger over the years. A cursory glance into the history of the IFFK would underscore the belief that perhaps the 19th edition of the IFFK could be regarded as one of the best film festivals conducted in the country.
As usual, the festival had its share of controversies. One after the other, the Kairali theatre witnessed a wave of protests related to a host of issues. The IFFK has always been a venue for the free speech and expression of art. There was a demand for Malayalam subtitles for festival films this time. Yet, none of these issues worried the delegates and the festival managed to maintain its charm.
The Kiss of Love, protest against the human rights violations and candle light vigil in solidarity with the victims of the Peshawar school attack grabbed headlines across the nation.
The 19th edition of IFFK had a lot of glorious moments too. Director Marco Bellocchioâ€™s take on the IFFK and its participation is a pointer. He feels that the vivacity of IFFK is unmatched. Most of the foreign delegates, film-makers and special guests from across the globe had the same feeling. Tala Hadid, a director from Morocco, said she was amazed by the thousands waiting outside the theatres for watching movies.
This year the Chalachitra Academy reinstated the Open Forum. All most all sessions of the Open Forum saw active participation of delegates. The lectures and discussions as well as the press conferences and meet the director programme was witnessed by packed audiences.
Another notable feature of the 19th IFFK was its successful showcasing of the strength of Malayalam cinema to the world. One of the best such initiatives was the introduction of Film Market.
The Aravindan Memorial lecture series and the exhibitions paying tribute to Malayalam cinema have all put our cinema on the world stage. This time some of the movies had its world premiere in the festival. Like any other event, despite its share of controversies, the IFFK has etched its mark in the annals of motion picture jamborees.