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24h Countdown starts for Kerala Film Festival (IFFK)

Countdown starts for 10th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK)
US$32,000 to be awarded in 10-day event

Hotels are filling up and local people are beginning to get excited at the prospect of this year’s event, the 10th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), which will open here 24 hours from now.
The Kerala festival takes place in Trivandrum just a couple of hours drive from the southernmost tip of this vast continent.
Kerala is one of the country’s 28 states and boasts one of the most cine-literate and discerning audiences in the world. Cinema and politics are two abiding passions of the people of Kerala.
Bizarre experiments in the medium, with few takers elsewhere, find vociferous votaries here. Tucked away behind the serene backwaters and the swaying palm fronds, even in the remotest areas, are scores of very active film societies.
The festival aims to satisfy their appetite for the best and the latest in the medium and to “counter the effects of crass commercialization: according to a statement from the Department of Cultural Affairs of the Government of Kerala.
IFFK is staged yearly and is organised by the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy on behalf of the Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala.
Over the years, the festival has attracted enthusiastic entries as distinguished juries decide on the prizes and there is the prospect of winning attractive cash awards.
As in previous years, the Golden Crow Pheasant Award and a cash prize of Rupees. 1,000,000 (about US$20,000) will be given for the best feature film to be shared equally by the director and the producer.
The Silver Crow Pheasant Award and a cash prize of Rupees 300,000 (about US$6,000) will go to the best director and there will also be a cash prize of about US$4,000 for the best debut director.
The Audience Prize is the equivalent of about US$ 2,000 and will be awarded to the director of the most popular film voted by the festival delegates
There is also a FIPRESCI award which is for the film deemed to be the best by the Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique.The competition section is restricted to films produced in Asia, Africa and Latin America. The films in competition have to have been produced between September 1st 2003 and August 31st 2004.
Kerala, a tropical paradise, is recommended by the National Geographic Magazine as one of the 50 ‘must-see’ destinations of the world. Legend has it, that Kerala was reclaimed from the Sea God ‘Varuna’ by Parasurama, an incarnation of Lord Vishnu, by throwing his battle axe into the sea. Varuna retreated to the point where the axe fell. The reclaimed land is today’s Kerala.
Trivandrum is the capital city of Kerala. Located at the South Western tip of India, it is bound by the Arabian Sea on the West and Tamil Nadu on the East. With the wooded highlands of the Western Ghats in the East a long shoreline, with renowned beaches, historic monuments, backwater stretches and a rich cultural heritage, Kerala is an unforgettable experience.
Air : Thiruvananthapuram International Air Port (6 kms from the city)
Rail : There are direct trains to all the main towns in Kerala as well as the major cities in India.
Road : Well connected to all towns & cities.

by Jeremy Colson

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