The film Gods will descend on the city in T minus 2 weeks. Our festival’s 13th edition opens in Trivandrum on December 12th for full 8 days.

This year holds a lot of promise because personally I haven’t heard of any of the movies coming to town. That is the beauty of this festival. In 2002, I heard of Kaurismaki, Majid Majidi and Makmalbaf for the first time. In 2007, it was Almodovar, Jiri Menzel and those fine filmmakers from Iran, Americas and China. 2008 I hope will be another year in discovery.

International Film Festival of Kerala 2007 raised the stature of the festival to a totally different level with its vast scale and quality movies. More than the number of movies screened which makes the India International a distant second, it was the discerning audience and the orgainsation of the festival which took the world classics right to the people. IFFK must be the lettered people’s festival 🙂

Highlights of last year include the Almodovar Retro, Bergman homage, Zhang Yang’s Luo Ye Gui Gen (Getting Home), Abdullah Oguz’s Bliss, Cristian Mungiu’s (Cannes winner) 4 Luni, 3 Saptamini Si 2 Zile, Hana Makhmalbaf’s Buddha collapsed In shame , and Lucia Puenzo’s Argentinan flick XXY which took the coveted US$ 20,000 Golden Pheasant. If the audience had a say Getting Home or Bliss would have won. I mean, there was a jury.

The year 2008 has been a good year for Malayalam cinema as well, with Malayalam films literally dominiating the Indian Panorama at India International(IFFI) in Goa. Almost all those movies happen to be in the list of movies to be screened in Trivandrum.

Highlights include Fernando Birri Retro, Alain Resnais Retro and Amos Gitai Retro, and Homage to Yousiffe Chahine, Jules Dassin, Bharat Gopi, and K.T.Mohammad. The malayalam film maker in focus will be the much loved artist Bharatan.

So if you happen to be in town, the 13th edition of IFFK will be held at Thiruvananthapuram from 12th – 19th December 2008. Mark your calendar!