ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Cracks in the Celluloid

This year’s edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala displayed disturbing trends of a dilution of core aesthetic and social norms.

For regular film festival buffs, the latest edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), which was held in the state capital, Thiruvananthapuram, in December 2013, dished up the expected feast of cinematic surprises in the form of retrospectives of master film-makers like Jean Renoir, Marco Bellocchio, Claire Denis, Takashi Miike and Goran Paskaljevi ć, and packages like Samurai Films, apart from sections on competition films and contemporary Indian and Malayalam cinema. Some legendary film-makers like Carlos Saura, Marco Bellocchio and Arturo Ripstein were also present at the festival.

Sadly, though, IFFK 2013 also gave glimpses of certain disturbing features that tend to undermine the traditional spirit of the festival. During the last two decades of its existence, IFFK has created a niche for itself in the film-festival circuit and among film lovers in the country. Focused content, wide participation and informal organisation have long distinguished IFFK from other film festivals. As for the selection of films, packages and personalities, IFFK has always given prominence to Third World cinema. Primarily a viewers’ festival, IFFK has conventionally chosen to shun glamour, glitz and film industry excess in favour of content and discourse. Further, in its organisation and management, IFFK is the least bureaucratic and the most cineaste-friendly film festival in the country.

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