IEFFK 2018: A Parallel Film Movement in Kerala

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KOZHIKODE: An honest face of patriarchy, a man who treats his women as mere toys and a child’s complex understanding about god and his own self- Fresh themes and unique talents joined hands in IEFFK 2018 in Calicut. Mananchira Tower and the Open Theatre were literally being an open platform for independent and experimental cinema.

It is the first of its kind in the history of Malayalam cinema, claimed Minimal Cinema spokespersons. As a venture for promoting films which couldn’t make it for international film fests like IFFK,  the fest moved on to the first show without the formality of an official inauguration, Mr. Prathap Joseph, the coordinator of Independent and Experimental Film Fest of Kerala (IEFFK) 2018 introduced the nature of the films on the show. The politics of the cinema starts from the location the director chose for his films, said Joseph as he introduced Don Palathara’s Pulikkal Mathayi, the first film on the show.

“The filmmaker has chosen his own household as location. There lies the politics of the kind of cinema IEFFK looks for. While a commercial filmmaker goes abroad in search of shooting locations, here is a filmmaker who shot four of his films from his own house..!”

Each film was followed by a question- answer session of thirty minutes where an active discussion about the theme and other aspects were questioned and defended. Don Palathara, after his show, defined film as a study of humanity which shows what reality as it is without judging its political incorrectness.

Shinos Rahman (director of Kalipatakaran or Toymaker 2014, second film on the show) told The South Indian Post that parallel cinema requires a learned audience.

“A commercial cinema believes that a viewer deserves a two and hour entertainment after his long day. But parallel cinema thinks that the viewer should not be fed on illusionary entertainment- he should understand what reality is. And for that he has to watch parallel cinema”. Rahman also said that there is no concept like an ideal parallel cinema viewer, but he/ she should be someone who is exhausted by commercial films. Only then they can enjoy a parallel cinema. 

There was a dominant criticism on fests like IFFK, which, according to Don Palathara, caters to taste of maximum audience and hence become ‘people pleasing’ only. Fests like IFFK don’t clearly define the standards they are looking for, and that is the major problem, said Palathara.

The other films on the fest are Fauzia Fathima’s Nadiyude Moonnam Kara, Jiva K.J’s Richter Scale 7.6, Sudevan’s Akatho Puratho , Jio Baby’s Kunju Daivam (Feature Films), Palathara’s Vithu, Savam , Thirike (Director Focus films), Lijin Thomas’ 81/2 Inter Cuts, and Anis Mappila’s The Slave Genesis (Feature Documentaries)

The two day fest ended on Sunday.

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