The International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), which is celebrating its silver jubilee this year, its second leg here began on a controversial note with verbal bashing by film personalities.
In the backdrop of the Covid-19 pandemic, the event which has previously been held in the state capital city, for the first time was spread across four venues -- Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Thalassery and Palakkad.
The Kochi phase
The Kochi-leg opened on a sour note with popular award winning actor Salim Kumar expressing his ire that he was not invited for the event, despite him living in the district.
Salim Kumar, whose political affinity towards the Congress party is wellknown said it was hilarious to know that he was not invited because he was an 'old man'.
Kumar who won the national best actor award in 2010 and also state awards is 50-years-old.
Clarifying the situation, award winning director and chairman of Kerala State Chalachitra Academy (KSCA), Kamal said: "He (Kumar) might have some political reason to create a controversy. I spoke to him for 30 minutes and said I will come and invite him for the event.
"But he was not willing for it. I once again apologise as the chairman, if there was any wrong done. I have convinced him that his fears are unfounded."
The four venue concept had come under fire from several quarters, but with the pandemic raging, it was given the go-ahead. From February 10-14, it was in Thiruvananathapuram, 17-21 Kochi, 23-27 Thalassery and March 1-5 in Palakkad.
At each venues, the films were to be screened in six movie halls where the audience capacity was to be limited to 50 per cent.