IFFK at 20: First time feature directors find a space

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 4: The packed schedule for the 20th edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), which is set to screen nearly 180 movies from December 5-11, has made room for a handful of talented, first-time directors.

Their debut features will show in the ‘First Look’ segment of the prestigious festival, and include works from China, Europe, South America and Africa. Most of the films have been lauded on the festival circuit and some have picked up awards at some of the important international festivals.

My Skinny Sister

This Swedish-German work by Sanna Lenken, which will show at Kairali on December 5 and Sree on December 6, is the story of protagonist Stella’s big sister Katja, who is hiding an eating disorder. The film considers with warmth and humour the impact that the problem makes on the family.

Kaili Blues

Gan Bi’s Chinese flick, which won the Best Emerging Director at Locarno among other awards, will be screened at Dhanya on December 5 and in Remya on December 6. It is the story of lonely Dr Chen Sheng of the Kaili clinic who goes in search of his abandoned nephew.

The Thin Yellow Line

Also an award-winner, The Thin Yellow Line is Mexican director Celso R Garcia’s drama about five men who are hired to paint the median line of a 200 km road under a blazing sun. The film shows in New Screen 1 on December 7, Dhanya on December 8 and Remya on December 10.

Land and Shade

A film that picked up awards and special mentions at Cannes, Poland’s Tofi Fest, the Mumbai Film Festival among others, the Colombia-France-Netherlands collaboration Land and Shade by director Cesar Augusto Acevedo is the story of Alfonso, who comes home after nearly two decades, to discover that a lot has changed, including his family’s concern for him. The film will be screened at Dhanya on December 9 and Remya on December 10.


A collaboraton between Ethiopia France-Germany-Norway-Qatar, Yared Zeleke’s film based in drought-ridden Ethiopia will be screened at Remya on December 8 and on December 9 in Dhanya and New Screen. Ephraim is a young shepherd and an excellent cook, who must save his sheep from being sacrificed at the next religious feast.


Ives Rosenfeld’s Brazilian film, which picked up awards at Locarno and the Rio de Janeiro Film for its director and actors, will show at New Screen 3 on December 5, Remya on December 8 and New Screen 1 on December 9.

It is the story of a young footballer who sacrifices his career for his pregnant girlfriend, and burns up with jealousy when his friend signs a contract with a professional team.

600 Miles

The Mexican-American flick by director Gabriel Ripstei looks at the unlikely eventual companionship between a young Mexican gun trafficker and an American law enforcement agent, who start out as enemies. The film will be screen at Sree Kumar on December 5 and Tagore on December 7.


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