Forced by the continuing COVID-19 pandemic situation, the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy has decided to organise the 25th edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala in four phases, across four regions spread out across the State. The first phase will be held in Thiruvananthapuram from February 10 to 14, the second phase in Ernakulam from February 17 to 21, the third phase in Thalassery from February 23 to 27 and the fourth phase in Palakkad from March 1 to 5.
Culture Minister A.K. Balan announced the festival dates at a press conference here on Friday. Chalachitra Academy Chairperson Kamal and Secretary C. Ajoy were present. In each city, the festival will be held across five theatres, with a maximum of 200 persons allowed for each show.
The organisers have made it clear that Thiruvananthapuram will continue to be the permanent venue of the festival, and this year’s would be just a stop-gap arrangement considering the pandemic situation. “Since the IFFK is a festival accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF), it is stipulated that the festival should have a permanent venue. This arrangement is being allowed only considering the COVID-19 situation,” said an academy official.
Inauguration in capital
The inauguration of the festival will be in Thiruvananthapuram, while the closing ceremony will be held in Palakkad. No public events or other crowd-pulling cultural events will be organised as part of the festival. The maximum number of participants in the inaugural and closing events will be limited to 200. No foreign delegate will be participating in the festival this year. All the major allied programmes of the festival, including Meet the Director, Master class, press meets and participation of foreign guests will be through online platforms.
The festival will have all the major categories, including International Competition, World Cinema, Malayalam Cinema Today, Indian Cinema Now, Kaleidoscope, Retrospective and Homage. All the films selected for the festival will be screened in all the four regions. Four films will be screened in each theatre daily. The delegate fee for the general delegates this yeas has been reduced to ₹750, while the for the student category, it will be ₹400. The delegates have to register in the venue closer to their area of residence.
Entry to the theatres will be based on registration. Seat numbers will be provided during reservation. Entry to the theatres will be allowed only after thermal scanning. Physically distanced seating arrangement will be implemented. The theatres will be sanitised after every screening.
The Chalachitra Academy, in association with the Health Department, will make arrangements for carrying out antigen test of the delegates before collecting the passes. Passes will be provided only to those who test negative.