IFFK veterans: The enthusiasts who have attended for 20 years

Thiruvananthapuram, Dec 8: There are a bunch of cinema enthusiasts at the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) who have a bond that goes back 20 years. They are not close friends—sometimes they do not even know the other’s names—but these delegates have seen each other at the festival every year and have literally rubbed shoulders since the early days.

Georgia comes every year from Italy for the festival. She was initiated into the festival while she was living in Kerala as a research scholar at Kerala University. After completing her studies, she went back to her homeland, but always returned for the festival. “I will attend the festival for as long as I can,” said the 68-year-old.

Chennai-based couple Reena and Vinesh Ram take a break from work every year around the time of the IFFK and catch at least three shows a day.

Prameela, a housewife is an IFFK veteran, who has come to every IFFK since 1994. “In the early days, my husband and I used to see about five films a day,” she says enthusiastically. “Now, our health does not permit it, but we still manage to catch about four shows.”

Prameela was inclined towards cinema since her childhood days and she found an ideal partner in her husband, who is also a film lover and activist. As the couple visited the festival and caught films screened by the Russian Film Society, it broadened her perspective. Now, Prameela evaluates every aspect of the film critically.

Retired University College English professer Gopalakrishnan Unnithan is also an old IFFK hand. He is pleased with how the festival has evolved. “The film selection is excellent,” said the 69-year-old. “It gives enthusiasts the chance to see good alternate films. I manage to catch about five a day.”

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