Delegates’ passion is IFFK’s strength’: Sibi Malayil

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 19: Noted filmmaker Sibi Malayil credits the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) with developing a culture of cinema appreciation in the state, saying the annual event has generated a “passionate” delegate base.

“The IFFK is one of the most popular and most attended festivals with delegates coming in from across the world,” the National Award-winning director said. “The festival’s strengh is its delegates, who are passionate about cinema.”

This he puts down to the IFFK being more “cinema-centric” than other Indian film festivals. “I feel that while the festival in Goa has other interests such as promoting tourism, the IFFK is all about cinema. The Chalachithra Academy has done an exceptional job keeping it that way.”

Making international films accessible to Malayali audiences, he said, has nurtured budding interest in world cinema. “This has created a core audience, especially among the young, who are keen to explore new landscapes and contours in global cinema.”

Malayil counts himself among them. “Movies with unfamiliar technical, narrative and social aspects have definitely influenced the filmmaker in me. But, at the IFFK, I’m more film student and afficianado than filmmaker.”

Which is why he keeps coming back for more. “I have participated in nearly all the IFFKs thus far, either as a delegate or as an official.

“I have been part of selection committees many times. It gives us a privileged opportunity to watch films not screened for delegates. Being introduced to the latest films and filmmakers from Asia, Africa and Latin America was a great experience.”

IFFK 2015, Kerala’s premier film festival, runs from December 4-11.

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