Second phase of International Film Festival Kerala opens on a controversial note
The International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), which is celebrating its silver jubilee this year, began its second phase on a controversial note, with film personalities criticizing certain aspects of the event.
In the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the event, which was earlier held in the state’s capital Thiruvananthapuram, has been spread across four venues this year for the first time in history — Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi, Thalassery, and Palakkad.
The Kochi-leg opened on a sour note with popular award-winning actor Salim Kumar expressing his displeasure over the fact that he was not invited for the event, despite him living in the district.
Kumar, whose political affinity towards the Congress party is well-known, said it was hilarious to know that he was not invited because he was an ‘old man’. He had also alleged that he was not invited because he was a supporter of the Congress.
Kumar, who won the National Award for Best Actor in 2010 and other state awards, is 50 years old.
However, Kamal, an award-winning director and chairman of Kerala State Chalachitra Academy (KSCA), said, “He (Kumar) might have some political reason to create a controversy. I spoke to him for 30 minutes and said I will come and invite him to the event.
“But he was not willing for it. I once again apologise as the chairman, if there was any wrong done. I have convinced him that his fears are unfounded,” he was quoted as saying.
The four-venue concept had come under fire, but with the pandemic raging, it was given the go-ahead. The festival was scheduled to be held in Thiruvananathapuram from February 10 to 14, Kochi from 17-21, Thalassery from 23-27, and Palakkad from March 1-5.
At each venue, the movies were to be screened in six cinema halls where the audience capacity had to be limited to 50 per cent.