50th Kerala State Film Awards: a moment of pride for IFFT


50th Kerala State Film Awards: a moment of pride for IFFT


The announcement of 50th Kerala State Film Awards has sent proud moments for the organisers of International Film Festival Thrissur (IFFT), the second biggest film festival of Kerala with a record of conducting film festivals uninterruptedly for the past 15 years, as many films and winners came in the limelight were part of IFFT. (Read more about Kerala State Awards)

The best film ‘Vasanthi’, directed jointly by brothers Shinos Rahman and Sajas Rahman, was part of the 15th IFFT held in March 2020. The film was screened as part of the ‘Malayalam Cinema- Parallel stream section’ in which many promising debut filmmakers participated. Though it did not get any award, Vasanthi, a story of the survival of a woman crossing all obstacles, has got many accolades in the festival. Till now ‘Vasanthi’ is screened only in two festivals. While it was exhibited in the Jaipur International Film Festival and the second public screening was at IFFT.

Similarly, Biriyani (Flavours of Flesh), which presents the best actress award for Kani Kusruti, was also exhibited in the 15th IFFT. Director Sajin Baabu was also actively participating in the festival. Both Vasanthi and Biriyani are experimental movies with unusual stories and treatment.

‘Vasanthi’ is the Rahman Brothers’ (as they popularly known) second full-length feature film after their critically-acclaimed ‘Kalippaattakkaaran’ (Toy maker), which was well received at film festivals across the world. The idea of Vasanthi took root after the duo came across Indira Parthasarathy’s Tamil play ‘Porvai Porthiya Udalgal’. It is a journey that traverses through stage plays, storytelling, and a host of male domains in Vasanthi’s life. The heroine of the movie, Swasika, was chosen as the ‘Best Character Actress Award.

Shinos and Sajas Rahman are the prominent vocalists to protect off-beat and experimental films. It is over this contention that they had teamed up with a number of like-minded filmmakers, technicians, critics, and cine artistes last year to form the ‘Movement of Independent Cinema’ collective, ahead of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) 2019.

‘Biriyani’ portrays the problems faced by two young Muslim women in Thiruvananthapuram, the state capital of Kerala. Both women live near the seashore and a few drastic events happen in their lives forcing them to leave the place. The film tells the story of their journey and their struggles. Kani Kusurthi plays in the lead role of Khadeeja. The movie tells the story of how a married Muslim woman breaks free off religious and social norms prevalent in the society.

Now, IFFT and Orange Film Academy jointly come forward to start an OTT/Virtual screen platform form this coming December 2020. The idea is to support makers of good movies and viewers of good cinema. The organizers believe that this new venture will bridge both debut and experienced film makers across India and outside India with viewers of good cinema. OTT is meant as a platform for screening Indian language films and off-beat foreign films.

“IFFT has always created a space for both debut film makers and parallel movies which do not get much attention or screening space. Now IFFT is coming out with an OTT/Virtual screen platform that intend to accommodate Indian language films and foreign films which do not otherwise have much options to reach out audience despite good movies,” said Cherian Joseph, CEO, Orange Film Academy, which is a venture of Orange Foundation, that is functioning in collaborate with IFFT.

IFFT is the second longest running film festival of Kerala which conducts International film festivals since 2004. Earlier, the International Film Festival of Kerala(IFFK) conducted by the State Government was the only platform available in Kerala to watch the best of World Cinema. So film lovers from the northern districts of Kerala had to travel long distances to watch new international films. But since the inception of the IFFT, cinema buffs from all sides of the Kerala can access the best world cinema easily.