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A report about 16th International Film Festival of Kerala 2011

16th IFFK 2011 : Films by directors Aditi Roy [India], Carlos Cesar Arbelaez [Colombia],Hamid Reza Aligholian [Iran], Ozcan Alper [Turkey], Pablo Perelman [Chile],Salim Ahmed [India] and Sebastian Hiriat [Mexico] win prizes.

A brief observation of events and films seen at 16th International Film Festival of Kerala 2011 [Trivandrum, India 09-16th December,2011] by film critic Mr.Lalit Rao (lalitrao@gmail.com)

A successful film festival is known not only for its eclectic selection of films but also for providing local film industry appropriate opportunities to showcase its films to a larger national/international audience. It is precisely this approach which distinguishes “International Film Festival of Kerala” from other film festivals in India. ‘Marketing Malayalam cinema’ is one such bold initiative which was launched at 16th International Film Festival of Kerala 2011.Most delegates of this film festival admire watching and keenly discussing offbeat films from all over the world. A rich selection of retrospectives whetted their appetites for good cinema. For example : delegates were offered a visual feast of films by American avant-garde filmmaker Adolfas Mekas [Hallelujah the hills], Senegalese cinema’s leading figure Djibril Diop Mambéty [Touki Bouki], Madhu [a veteran Malayalam cinema actor who shared screen space with one of Bollywood’s greatest legends Amitabh Bachchan in his début film Saat Hindustani/Seven Indians], masters of world cinema Robert Bresson [Pickpocket], Nagisa Oshima [A town of love and hope], Theo Angelopoulos [Landscape in the mist] and Yasuzo Masumura [Hoodlum Soldier]. Homages were also paid to leading actors and directors Elizabeth Taylor [Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolf ? ], Mani Kaul [Uski Roti/our daily bread], Raoul Ruiz [Mysteries of Lisbon] and Tareque Masud [Runway]. The benign presence of Bollywood heavyweights Jaya Bachchan, Om Puri and Subhash Ghai added much needed glamour quotient to this serious festival. One of Asia’s most prominent film industries on international film festival circuits, Filipino cinema was also duly represented in the form of some noteworthy films [The Bet Collector,The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros,Kinatay,Century of birthing] including competition section nominee Palawan Fate/Busong directed by Auraeus Solito who graciously accorded some interviews to local media. The presence of a large DEFA [East German cinema] delegation gave much needed boost to the promotion of forgotten German cinema classics. It included actor Gojko Mitic, director Peter Kahane and DEFA foundation chairman Helmut Morsbach. Turkish cinema was also represented through the presence as an international jury member of its leading director Semih Kaplanoglu whose films [Angel’s fall, egg, honey and milk] were screened as part of ‘contemporary master in focus’ section. Lastly, 16th International Film Festival of Kerala 2011 marked the début of noted Hindi/Malayalam cinema director Priyadarshan as chairman of Kerala State Chalachitra Academy, an organization which manages this festival.

A list of awards which were distributed during 16th International Film Festival of Kerala 2011.

NETPAC [Network for the promotion of Asian cinema] award.

(01) Best Asian Film: Abosheshey/At the end of it all directed by Aditi Roy

(02) Best Malayalam Film: Adaminte Makan Abu/Abu,son of Adam directed by Salim Ahmed.

FIPRESCI [International Federation of Film Critics] award

(01) Best competition film: Gelecek Uzun Surer/Future lasts forever directed by Ozcan Alper.

(02) Best Malayalam Film: Adaminte Makan Abu/Abu,son of Adam directed by Salim Ahmed.

Hassan Kutty award [in memory of Mira Nair’s assistant Hasan Kutty]

Adaminte Makan Abu/Abu,son of Adam directed by Salim Ahmed.

Best Film : Suvarna Chakoram [Golden Crow Pheasant award] Los colores de la montaña/Colours of the mountain directed by Carlos Cesar Arbelaez.

Best Director : Rajata Chakoram [Silver Crow Pheasant award] Hamid Reza Aligholian for Flamingo Shomareh 13/Flamingo No.13

Best début film : A Tiro de Piedra/A Stone’s Throw Away directed by Sebastian Hiriart.

Audience Award: La lección de pintura/The painting lesson directed by Pablo Perelman.

16th International Film Festival of Kerala 2011 jury.
Bruce Beresford : Australian/Hollywood director
Jeffrey Jeturian : Filipino director
Laurence Gavron : Dakar based French director/writer
Rahul Bose : Indian actor
Semih Kaplanoglu : Turkish director

written by film critic Lalit Rao

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