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Kerala Chief Minister inaugurates IFFK, expresses solidarity with Palestinian people


Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, inaugurated the 28th edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), expressing Kerala's solidarity with the Palestinian people. He emphasized that this festival uniquely strives to stand in solidarity with the struggles of the Palestinian people, making it a rare distinction among film festivals. In his address during the online inauguration, Chief Minister Vijayan underscored the festival's commitment by conferring the Spirit of Cinema Award upon Wanuri Kahiu, a Kenyan artist advocating for freedom of expression.

Acknowledging Kenya's history marked by struggles against occupation, the Chief Minister noted that remnants of colonialism still persist in the land. Wanuri Kahiu, as a socially committed artist challenging taboos and objections, embodies the spirit of resistance against such remnants. The Chief Minister highlighted that by honoring artists like Kahiu, the film festival and the country demonstrate their support for those who strive for freedom and expression.

At the opening ceremony, Nana Patekar, the Chief Guest of the festival, conveyed a message of shared sentiments transcending language barriers among people. Patekar expressed his eagerness to be a part of Malayalam cinema, stating that his wish would soon be fulfilled.

Chalachitra Academy Chairman Ranjith and veteran director Adoor Gopalakrishnan have extended an offer for a role in a film to Nana Patekar. Mayor Arya Rajendran presented the Spirit of Cinema award to Wanuri Kahiu. Festival Curator Golda Sellam introduced the festival packages during a function presided over by Culture Minister Saji Cherian.

The ceremony was attended by dignitaries such as Cultural Affairs Secretary Mini Antony IAS, VK Prashant MLA, District Panchayat President Adv. D Sureshkumar, International Competition Section Jury Chairperson Rita Acevedo Gomez, Oscar winner Resul Pookutty, Chalachitra Academy Chairman Ranjith, Cultural Workers Welfare Fund Board Chairman Madhupal, Chalachitra Academy Vice Chairman Premkumar, Chalachitra Academy Secretary C Ajoy, Director of Culture N Maya IFS, among others. The festival catalog was released by VK Prashant, who gave away a copy to Madhupal, and the Chalachitra Sameeksha festival edition was presented to Premkumar by Resul Pookutty.

The event concluded with the screening of the opening film, 'Goodbye Julia.'