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Last Updated Tuesday March 31 2020 08:28 AM IST

Let IFFK nurture a film culture and boost Malayalam movies

G. Suresh Kumar
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Let IFFK nurture a film culture and boost Malayalam movies A still from the closing ceremony of 19th edition of IFFK. Photo: Facebook/iffk

The latest International Film Festival of Kerala was a success in terms of the quality of films and people’s participation. Not one film could be singled out as particularly bad. That is the reason the delegates braved the odds to watch the films. Unlike in previous years, when the schedule was changed frequently, only two film changed venue this year due to technical problems.

The open forum, restarted by the Federation of Film Societies, went without the usual skirmishes. The Film Market, meant to help Malayalam cinema, was another commendable initiative this year.

The flip side was the non-availability of seats for serious audience and a lack of discipline from the part of the delegates. All important movies were screened in small halls. More seats could have been made available if bigger halls were rented. Movies could be shown in Tagore Theatre once the construction is complete. Night shows should be arranged in Suryakanthi, like in Nishagandhi.

Disorderly delegates were a major irritant. In Goa IFFI, armed commandos control the crowds in movie halls. In Thiruvananthapuram, delegates would not even listen to the police. We should limit the number of delegates to the first 7,000 applicants. We can lessen the influx to Thiruvananthapuram if zonal festivals are held in Kochi and Kozhikode.

About 1,400 passes were issued to the media but it is doubtful if so many journalists covered the festival. Almost 1,000 passes were given to “officials”. There were so many fakes and they escaped the police and the security guards. People were let in even when they came with others' passes.

The reservation system should be implemented faultlessly. An expert committee can be formed now itself for the seamless conduct of the system next year. Delegate passes should be distributed through banks. Those who reserve should be allowed inside the halls by swiping their passes.

There should be a marquee in front of the hall where the delegates stand in queue to watch the movies. Film professionals and journalists should be allowed to watch movies peacefully.

  • IFFK Moments

    Dancer Thambi giving a dance performance at Kairali Complex theatre. Photo: Manoj Chemancheri

    IFFK Moments
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    Actress Maya Vishwanath and Bhagyalakshmi at IFFK.Photo: Manoj Chemancheri

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    Moroccan director Tala Hadid(R) Asian writer and director Narges Abyarshares a light moment with each other during the 'Meet the Director' session at IFFK 2014. Photo: Manoj Chemancheri

    IFFK Moments
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    Former ISRO Scientist Nambi Narayanan arrives at IFFK. Photo: Manoj Chemancheri

    IFFK Moments
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    A delegate shows off a banner that has his demands at the IFFK. Photo: Manorama

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    Delegates caught on camera. Photo: Manorama

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    Actor Gauthami Nair, a delegate who is giving a pose and actor Sona Nair at IFFK. Photo: Manorama

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    Student delegates posing for a picture during IFFK. Photo: Manorama

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    A delegate clicking a picture. Photo: Manorama

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    A scene from one of the IFFK venues. Photo: Manorama

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    Another selfie, more faces this time. Photo: Manorama

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    Actresses Sajitha Madathil and Menaka were also seen at IFFK. Photo: Manorama

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    Rajeev Nath, Adoor Gopalakrishnan and minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan share a lighter moment at IFFK. Photo: Manorama

    IFFK Moments
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    Actress Seema G. Nair talks to delegates at IFFK. Photo: Manorama

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    Which movie next? Delegates scanning the pages of schedule at IFFK. A mother is seen with her toddler. Photo: Manorama

    IFFK Moments
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    'Kiss of Love' activists shout slogans during their demonstration in front of Kairali Theatre in Thiruvananthapuram. Photo: Manorama

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    Delegates are seen at IFFK. Photo: Manorama

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    This youngsters knew when to take out the selfie stick at IFFK. Actors Menaka, Sona Nair and Siddique are also seen in the picture. Photo: Manorama

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    Representatives of film industry staged a protest demanding that they be allowed to watch shows at IFFK. Photo: Manorama

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    Funky t-shirts were an attraction at this year's IFFK. Photo: Manorama

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    Policemen seen at an IFFK venue. Photo: Manorama

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    Delegates wait to watch a movie at an IFFK venue. Photo: Manorama

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    Student delegates were offered free meals at this year's film fest. Photo: Manorama

    IFFK Moments
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    This year's IFFK witnessed many protests. Photo: Manorama

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    Policemen were seen at most of the venues as delegates turned up in huge numbers for most of the shows. Photo: Manorama

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    Delegates queue up for a show at IFFK. Photo: Manorama

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    A street play is underway at an IFFK venue. Photo: Manorama

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We will gain if we could conduct the festival a bit earlier. Most of the films came to Thiruvananthapuram from Bengaluru, which squeezed in a festival to the calendar between those of Goa and Thiruvananthapuram. This resulted in uncertainty in fixing the schedule as the organisers worried whether the films would land on time. We should think about holding the IFFK around Kerala Formation Day on November 1, even before Goa festival starts.

Kerala State Film Development Corporation should take over the film market as NFDC does at the national level. We should sponsor the visit of the foreigners interested in buying Malayalam movies. Marathi movies are given up to Rs 40 lakh as subsidy. The Rs 3 lakh given to films in the Film Market is inadequate. This should be raised to at least Rs 10 lakh.

Even opposition leader V.S. Achuthanandan congratulated the festival as unforgettable. A matter of pride for those who led it including Minister Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, director Adoor Gopalakrishnan and Film Academy chairman T.Rajeev Nath. We should start preparing for the next festival from January. IFFK should focus on nurturing good cinema and a good cinema culture, instead of creating controversies.

(The writer is president, Kerala Film Producers’ Association)

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