The silver jubilee edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) will officially kick-off on February 10 adhering to strict COVID-19 health protocol in the backdrop of the pandemic, the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy said. For the first time in the history of the festival, taking into consideration the Covid-19 situation, the venues have been divided into four different regions of the state–Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thalassery and Palakkad– due to the pandemic.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the festival at 6.00 PM on Wednesday at the Nishagandhi auditorium here, followed by the screening of the inaugural film, Quo Vadis, Aida? Prominent guests from across the world will join the festival online and the five-day first phase of the festival will conclude on February 14. The festival is scheduled to run between February 10 and 14 in Thiruvananthapuram, February 17-21 at Ernakulam, February 23-27 at Thalassery and March 1-5 at Palakkad. The inaugural ceremony and the award distribution functions will be held in Thiruvananthapuram and Palakkad respectively. The festival duration has been reduced to five days of screening, in six theatres. The competition will feature international cinema, world cinema, Malayalam cinema and Indian cinema. Every delegate and official taking part in the festival are being subjected to free antigen tests organised by the academy, in association with the state Health Department. As many as 80 films from over 30 countries will be screened this year.
Of the 14 films in the International competition, Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Churuli, which is a world premiere, and Jayaraj’s Hasyam, will feature from Malayalam. The 25th edition of the IFFK will also witness new filmmakers making their mark with their intriguing movies.