Noted filmmaker and newly-appointed chairman of KR Narayanan National Institute of Visual Arts, Saeed Akhtar Mirza, waxed lyrical about Kerala's culture and the Malayalam cinema.
Mirza was the chief guest at the inaugural function of the Kottayam International Film Festival that was opened by Kerala's Minister for Culture and Cinema, VN Vasavan at the Anaswara Theatre here on Friday.
"I'm speaking from my heart, there is no state in the country that has evolved so much through its culture and innovation as this state has," Mirza said.
The veteran writer-director said that Kerala has a "platform for serious deliberation" which is essential "for any society to retain its sanity".
"...the new Malayalam cinema is not afraid to experiment with form and content."
"When I was chairing the jury of the Kerala state film awards in 2021 and the films that I saw it was exciting to note that there was no difference between art and mainstream cinema as far as Malayalam films are concerned.
"Even during pandemic times when other industries in the country were stuck in planning a way forward, Malayalam cinema quickly evolved."
The film festival that will end on February 28 will feature 39 films in 18 languages, including the Bolivian movie 'Utama' which bagged the 'Suvarna Chakoram' at the International Film Festival of Kerala in Thiruvananthapuram last December.