IFFK inaugurated; actor Bhavana lights the lamp

Bhavana IFFK
Malayalam actor Bhavana was invited on stage to light the lamp during the inauguration of the IFFK in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday. Photo: Screengrab

The 26th International Film Festival of Kerala was inaugurated by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan here Friday.

The inauguration was held at the Nishagandhi Auditorium with noted Bollywood director Anurag Kashyap and Kurdish filmmaker Lisa Calan, a survivor of ISIS terror among those present on the occasion.

Malayalam actor Bhavana was invited on stage to light the lamp.

Director Ranjith, also the chairman of Kerala State Chalachitra Academy welcomed actor Bhavan on stage by introducing her as 'a female symbol of fight'.

“Its been so long since I attended an event on a stage. I'm happy,” Bhavana told media persons after the inauguration ceremony.

Lisa Calan, who lost both her legs in the ISIS bombing in Istanbul in 2015 in the wake of the atrocities perpetrated against Kurds, was awarded IFFK's first Spirit of Film Award in recognition of her continued presence in the film industry.

The festival will be an 8-day affair and end on the 25th. At least 173 films will be screened from various countries. Due to the prevailing Covid situation in the state, the number of foreign delegates has been restricted.

A cash prize of 5 lakhs will be awarded to the winners of the Spirit of Cinema award and this will be a regular award from this year onwards to those filmmakers who have such stories of survival to narrate.

Since a lot of foreign filmmakers have expressed their inability to make it to the function, the Lifetime Achievement award won't be included this year.

Hindi actor Nawazudin Siddique is the Chief Guest during the closing ceremony. A lot of celebrities from Malayalam cinema will also be attending the various events at IFFK.

The inaugural film is ‘Rehana’ which is a collaboration of Bangladesh, Singapore, and Qatar. Singer Gayathri Ashok will be offering a musical tribute to Lata Mangeshkar during the inaugural function. Suraj Sathe will be playing instruments.

This Mela was supposed to be held last December. According to Chalachithra Academy Chairman Ranjith, since the selection of Malayalam films was already done, it will be difficult to make any more modifications to it. He also said this time they are hoping to bring back the glorious film festival days of Thiruvanthapuram.

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