Thiruvananthapuram: As the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) is all set to start here on December 4, Chairman of the Kerala Chalachitra Academy T Rajeev Nath said film festivals are meant only to promote good cinema and they should not be treated as events to boost tourism.
The annual International Film Festival of India (IFFI) has now lost its sheen as the premier movie gala of the sub-continent has become a mere "Bollywood extravaganza", says eminent director T Rajeev Nath.
"Movie buffs in and outside the country once viewed IFFI as the paradise of good and serious cinema. But there has been an overbearingness of Bollywood in the festival for some time," said Nath.
Nath, who is known for his critically acclaimed movies like Janani, Aham and Pakalnakshatrangal, also said though he used to be a regular delegate of IFFI once, he skips the festival nowadays due to these reasons.
The filmmaker said the IFFK, the state's premier film festival, would be a complete film festival by all means.
"The Kerala Chalachitra Academy, the organiser of IFFK, is only bothered about the quality of films screening in the festival and way of conducting it. We don't believe that the success of a movie gala lies in bringing celebrities or organising entertainment programmes," he said.
"Though we are living in a digital era, film festivals still have their relevance. It is essential to promote good and serious cinema," said Nath, who gained appreciation for conducting the festival in a remarkable manner last time.
He also felt that there is no point in segregating films as 'commercial' and 'art'. "There is nothing called commercial cinema and art cinema but only good cinema and bad cinema. Good cinema will always have viewers and they should be promoted. It is the core idea of film festivals," he said, adding, good movies would transcend time.
About 12,000 delegates have registered for the eight-day IFFK in which over 170 films from around the globe will be screened in 14 venues, he said.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy will kick-off the festival at Nishagandhi auditorium here on December 4.
Tabla wizard Ustad Zakir Hussain is expected to be a part of the inaugural ceremony.
Eminent Iranian filmmaker Dariush Mehrjui will be felicitated with the IFFKs Lifetime Achievement Award during the inauguration for his work and contribution to cinematic renaissance in his country.
French director Jean-Jacques Annaud's 3D movie Wolf Totem will be the opening film of the festival.
Nath said the Academy has plans to showcase Kerala's cultural diversity before delegates by organising traditional art forms at venues.
Dance forms like Kathakali, Theyyam, Padayani, Mohiniyattam, Kerala nadanam and so on will be showcased at different venues with the support of agencies like Kerala Kalamandalam, Kerala Sahitya Akademi, Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi, Kerala Folklore Akademi and Bharat Bhavan, he added.
(With agency inputs)