With IFFK success, hopes up for regional film festival in Kochi

Organisation of annual event has been a long-standing demand of film societies in the city

The enthusiasm for the Kochi leg of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) seems to have triggered the possibility of an annual, regional film festival in the city.

The organisation of an annual festival featuring a package of the best films drawn from the IFFK has been a long-standing demand of film societies in Kochi.

The Kerala State Chalachitra Academy (KSCA) seems receptive to the idea with its chairman Kamal impressed by the response to the Kochi leg of the IFFK. โ€œWe had organised such regional fests in the past in places such as Kozhikode and Kottayam and the Academy will support a similar fest in Kochi, provided film societies, Kochi Corporation or such agencies take the initiative and facilitate its organisation,โ€ said Mr. Kamal.

Mayor M. Anilkumar said the Corporation would do everything in its capacity to facilitate the conduct of an annual festival. โ€œThe Kochi leg of IFFK will be just the starting point and more will follow,โ€ he said.

The Cochin Film Society (CFS), functioning close to four decades now, had raised the demand for such a regional festival with the KSCA a couple of years ago. โ€œKochi has the most active film societies even without a regular film fest. We have been organising multiple programmes every month and screenings of award-winning movies, world classics, and independent movies. Besides, foreign film fests, in association with embassies concerned and foreign culture centres, are also being organised like the German film fest that is being held without fail for the last five years,โ€ said CFS secretary Anoop Varma.

T.R. George, secretary of the Kochi-based Metro Film Society, said the city was best fit for a regional film festival of its own under the aegis of the KSCA. He said independent cinema and not commercial cinema should be the focus of such festivals.

Jolly Pavelil, coordinator of the Chavara Film Society, said the Chavara Cultural Centre had expressed its willingness to make available all its facilities for the organisation of such festivals in the city. โ€œKochi on account of its cosmopolitan character, being home to different linguistic communities and the preferred destination of people associated with the film industry deserves a fest of its own,โ€ said Mr. Pavelil, adding that the organisation of the IFFK had revived the spirit of film societies in the city that had been dormant since the outbreak of COVID-19.

Kochi is hosting the IFFK for the first time since 1999. Though a festival was organised by the district administration in association with the KSCA in 2013, it was not a success.

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