A group of indie filmmakers has launched a social media campaign against the International Film Festival Of Kerala (IFFK), alleging that the festival’s film selection committee has been flouting rules and rejecting films without viewing them. On Facebook page, Reform The IFFK, the filmmakers say that they were going to file a legal petition against the film festival to get the current selection lists of Indian and Malayalam films cancelled. They demand that the Academy to reconstitute the panels and make fresh and fair selections. The filmmakers also allege that the Chalachitra Academy was favouring commercial films over independent arthouse films.
The 24th edition of IFFK, organised by Kerala Chalachitra Academy, is scheduled to take place from December 6 to 12. Two Malayalam movies – Vruthakrithiyilulla Chathuram directed by Krushanth RK, and Jallikattu directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery – have been selected for the competition section. Jallikattu, which premiered at Toronto International Film Festival in September, released in theatres in Kerala on October 4. Among the 12 films selected in the Malayalam Cinema Today category, six are commercially successful mainstream films – Ishq- Not a Love Story (directed by Anuraj Manohar), Kumbalangi Nights (directed by Madhu C Narayanan), Virus (Ashiq Abu), Uyare (Manu Ashokan), And The Oscar Goes To (Saleem Ahmed), and Unda (Khalid Rahman).
Last year, of the 14 films selected in Malayalam Cinema Today section of IFFK, six were films that had a theatrical release.
On Friday, filmmaker Leena Manimekalai, whose Maadathy — an Unfairy Tale had its world premiere at Busan International Film Festival recently and was also in the international competition section of Kolkata International Film Festival scheduled to happen in the second week of November, said on Facebook that her film was not viewed by the IFFK committee. “It is sad that IFFK, the festival that played a crucial role in me becoming a filmmaker, the festival where I have been on preselection jury myself is becoming a playground for politics, corruption, and nepotism by the few and the powerful,” she said on Facebook.