Thiruvananthapuram: The Chalachitra Academy is searching for ways to conduct this year’s International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) on a reduced budget. Now, it has been decided to give the Lifetime Achievement award a miss. Another major move is to stop issuing of free passes.
Moreover, the delegate fees will be doubled and the festival will be held over six days instead of the usual seven. These measures are being planned after Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan gave the go ahead to organise the IFFK on a slashed budget in view of the flood tragedy. More decisions in this regard will be announced during a meeting convened by minister A K Balan on September 27.
A cash prize of Rs 5 lakh was presented to the winner of Lifetime Achievement award last year. This year, it was earlier decided to double the amount. However, this decision will be implemented only next year.
In 2017, the organisers had issued 12,500 delegate passes while free passes for associations, institutions and individuals numbered 2,500. The delegate fee, which was Rs 650 last year, may be raised to Rs 1,500-2,000 this time. Also, the concession given to students may be withdrawn.
The exhibiting centres will be 12 this year as two private theatres will not be available. The Chalachitra Academy also wants the government to waive the charges imposed by government theatres for the screenings. This year too, the chief venue will be Tagore Theatre.
Expenses for screening films came to Rs 1 crore last year. The same amount has been set apart for the purpose this year as the academy feels that no compromise should be made regarding the films. However, costs will be cut in other matters. For instance, the amount spent on bringing jury members from abroad may be reduced. There has also been a proposal to slash the prize money for various awards but a final decision is yet to be taken.
According to officials, the festival will be conducted with sponsorship and other means by the academy on its own. Last year, the total expenses for the IFFK came to Rs 6.50 crore. It is planned to conduct this year’s event at Rs 3.50 crore. An amount of Rs 2 crore can be collected by increasing the delegate fees alone.