Cinema comes calling
Chennai International Film Festival returns for its 19th edition with a varied selection
The best learning for a young filmmaker comes from exposure to a wide variety of media from across the world. And what better opportunity to explore these than at the Chennai International Film Festival organised by Indo Cine Association Foundation, in association with PVR and OneMercuri supported by the Government of Tamil Nadu? For their 19th edition from December 30 to January 6, the festival is returning with its prime selection of 121 movies from 53 countries.
“Chennai is like the headquarters of South Indian films, there is much that happens here in the industry. So we have brought the best of films for the technicians, artists, producers, people from the film industry, students, and film enthusiasts,” exclaimed Ravi Kottarakara, of the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce at the press meet on Thursday.
The event will be opened by the Three Floors by Nanni Moretti, the nominee for Palme d’Or at the Cannes Festival 2021 and also, a performance by young Indian musician Lydian Nadhaswaram. Other award-winning films will grace the screen throughout the week, including Oscar entries such as A Hero, the Iranian entry for the Best International Feature Film and When Pomegranates Howl, the Australian entry for the same category. Those who are looking for French, Korean, Malayalam, and German movies will not be disappointed.
To celebrate regional cinema, the organisers are hosting a Tamil Film Competition. The 11 films selected — Ainthu Unarvugal, Sivaranjiniyum Innum Sila Pengalum, Karnan, Kattil and more — will be competing for the Best Tamizh Film Award, the Second Best Tamizh Film Award, the Special Jury Award, and the Amitabh Bachchan Youth Icon Award. Jury members Balaji Shaktivel, SS Stanley and Poorvaja Sunder will announce their verdict during the closing ceremony, at which violinist Padma Shankar will perform a SP Balasubrahmanyam medley as a tribute to the legend and VORTEX by Gaspar Noe, the winner of the San Sebastian International Film Festival 2021 will be screened. Winners will also receive a cash prize. “The director and producer for the Best Tamizh Film will receive `2 lakh and `1 lakh respectively. For the Second Best Tamizh Film, the director and producer will each be awarded `1 lakh,” announced E Thangaraj, the festival director.
The Indian Panorama category has brought together a set various regional films across the country. This includes 21st Tiffin (Gujarati), Dollu (Kannada), ‘Fun’ eral (Marathi), Kalkokko (Bengali) and more. This year, the festival also brings industry aspirants an opportunity to connect with well-known names in films with their interactive masterclasses. Expect sessions with SJ Surya, Ashwin Saravanan and the like, along with a panel discussion with well-known producers, equipped to answer the audience’s burning questions.
“A team of producers will be asked: what do you expect from an artist or what kind of stories do you expect form a studio writer, or from a cinematographer?” shares Ravi. The festival is not only an opportunity for people to foray into other languages in cinema but also to learn more about the industry from those on top.
Register for the event at icaf.in, chennaifilmfest.com or insider.in; directly register at SDC Anna Cinemas, #21, Anna Salai, Triplicane from December 27. All visitors will be required to provide a vaccination certificate.