The upcoming edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) will showcase 184 movies from around 70 countries across 15 theatres as it gears up for its opening ceremony on December 9 in Thiruvananthapuram.
According to festival organisers, movies will be screened in 17 categories including International Competition, World Cinema, Indian Cinema Now, Malayalam Cinema Today, Retrospective, Country in Focus, Homage, Silent Films, etc. Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will present the Lifetime Achievement Award to Hungarian master filmmaker Bela Tarr, who is on his first visit to India. A legendary film pioneer, Tarr often highlighted humanitarian issues in his films using a unique cinematic philosophy, which soon grew as a cinematic concept that is followed by other filmmakers worldwide.
IFFK will also honour Tarr with a Retrospective of his films, including Werckmeister Harmonies and The Turin Horse. A comprehensive book in Malayalam on the maestro written by C S Venkiteswaran will be published on this occasion.
The state government will present the Spirit of Cinema Award to Iranian filmmaker-activist Mahnaz Mohammadi. Belgian refugee drama Tori and Lokita will open the festival, which is in its 27th edition. It will receive its India premiere. Directed by Dardenne brothers, the film had its world premiere in the Competition section of the 2022 Cannes Film Festival where it earned the Cannes 75th Anniversary Award.
There are 14 films in the International Competition section, including Hoopoe (Iran), Concerned Citizen (Israel), Cordially Yours (Brazil), Convenience Store (Russian/Slovenian production), Tug of War (Tanzania), and Klondike (Ukraine).
Out of these titles, four are from India — Nanpakal Nerathu Mayakkam, Ariyippu (Malayalam), Ek Jagah Apni (Hindi), and Eikhoigi Yum (Manipuri).
In the Malayalam Cinema Today section, there are 12 films which include Pada, 19 (1) (a), Thousand and One Lies, Great Depression, and Freedom Fight.
The seven films in the Indian Cinema Now category are Amar Colony, The Storyteller, Opium (Hindi), Anur (Assamese), Niharika, Shesh Pata (Bengali), Jaggi (Punjabi).
Serbia, home to many internationally acclaimed filmmakers, is the focus country for the current edition and the section showcases six distinguished films from contemporary Serbian cinema. They are Working Class Heroes, Far As I Can Walk, Father, Oasis, Cross in the Dessert and The Beheading of St. John the Baptist.
This year, the festival has also acknowledged five films from the silent and early talkie era, including the centenary screening of German director F W Murnau’s much-acclaimed silent horror film Nosferatu The Retrospective section features the outstanding works of Murnau, Serbian master Emir Kusturica and Chilean-French avant-garde filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky.
For the first time in the history of the gala, the works of masters of world cinema will have their India premiere. The line-up boasts the likes of IFFK’s favourite Kim Ki-duk’s swansong Call of God, Bahman Ghobadi’s festival favourite Four Walls, acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Korean language debut The Broker and Fatih Akin’s Rheingold.
IFFK will also pay homage to French filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard, scriptwriters John Paul and T P Rajeevan, director G S Panicker, actor Prathap Pothen, cinematographer Pappu and producer Atlas Ramachandran.
G Aravindan’s Thampu will be screened in the reinstated Classic category. There will be a special screening for Adoor Gopalakrishnan’s Swayamvaram, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
As part of IFFK, two photo exhibitions will be held at Tagore theatre. The exhibitions will feature 100 photos of famous photographer Punalur Rajan, curated by Mangad Ratnakaran, and 110 photos chronicling the career of actor Satyan on his 110th birth anniversary, curated by R Gopalakrishnan.
The film extravaganza will conclude on December 16.