Tuesday, December 21, 2010

15th IFFK - a Review

15th IFFK, Trivandrum, Dec 10 to 17, 2010

Our capital city has witnessed the IFFK (International Film Festival of Kerala) celebrations during the last week. Around 205 films from 83 countries in 16 categories has been screened in 10 theaters. Though I am not an aggressive viewer of the film festivals, this time also I was lucky enough to watch some among the best ones. I haviffke
seen movies like 'Please Don't Disturb', 'The Sicilian Girl', 'Biutiful', 'Animal Town', 'Portraits in the Sea of Lies', 'Outrage', 'Night and Fog', 'Light Thief', 'Optical Illusions', 'The Japanese Wife', 'Little Rose', 'Walking on the Rail', 'Buried Secrets'; and also films from our country like 'Swapnadanam', 'T.D.Dasan Std 6B', 'Paleri Manikyam', 'Yugapurushan', 'Ponthen Maada', 'Ormakal Undayirikkanam', 'Soosanna', 'Danny', 'Kadhavaseshan', 'Laal Salaam', 'Manichitrathaazhu', 'Chemmeen', 'Kireedom', 'Aadumkoothu', 'Udaan', 'Love Sex Aur Dokha' etc. were screened. Since I have seen all the malayalam, hindi films before, I didn't wasted my time to watch them here.

The Arabic film 'Buried Secrets' featured on the three women that lived in the back portion of a big lonely house, their hidden emotions, living style, attitude towards others etc are shown in an attractive way here, which according to me was the best one from the list. Then comes 'Portrait in the Sea of Lies', a Colombian film presented in the style of a travelogue showing the real beauty of Colombia accompanied by the story of a photographer and his relative. 'The Japanese Wife' is an English movie by Aparna Sen telling the deep relationship betw
een an Indian school teacher and his pen friend, a Japanese girl. 'Night and 'Fog' from Hong Kong is about a girl and her two little daughters who are suffering from the rude behavior of her husband, though the story is not new, the treatment of the film felt different. Japanese film, 'Outrage' has got high voltage action environment and the presentation is similar to the classic hit in the olden days, 'God Father'. 'Little Rose' from Poland is a story happening in the late 1960s about a spy lady appointed on a mission to track down certain people who are acting against the government, the commercial style treatment of the movie made it a watchable one.

The star director of 'Amores Peros' and 'Babel', Inarittu has arrived with his Spanish movie 'Biutiful', the serious presentation of the movie was good, but it felt lengthy and sometimes dragging. 'Light Thief' was a French subject made in a very simple way about an electricity worker in the village. 'The Sicilian Girl' is an Italian film which tells the story of a girl who fights against the underworld mafia. 'Animal Town' from Korea is about two
guys who finds difficult to spend their livelihood in the city, both are shown in parallel tracks. The presentation of the Spanish satirical comedy 'Optical Illusions' was not an attractive one. Though the Iranian film, 'Walking on the Rail' discusses many stories, the presentation felt like an amateur one only. 'Please Don't Disturb', another Iranian movie discussing three stories ending on a single point, started in a good way, but later the tempo was lost, any way it didn't have the high standards to be a showed as a part of the inaugural function.

From the feedback I got from my friends and other movie lovers, I am quoting some other good ones that featured in the festival, which I missed. 'Certified Copy', a French film about a notable writer's life with a
mix of reality and fiction; the Spanish film 'Last Summer of La Boyita' regarding a girl and her friend at the childhood days; the Austalian film 'Samson Delilah' featuring the love story of teenagers; the German docu-fiction 'Fitzcarraldo' showing the dismantling and reconstruction of a ship by the passengers; the Turkish film 'Zephyr' that tells the story of a girl spending her life with the grand mother at the valley; 'Silent Souls', the Russian one about the factory owner and his living; another film from the same country, 'How I Ended This Summer', which is about the life of a meteorologist and his colleague in the cold Artic region; the German film 'White Ribbon' about the mysterious happenings in a village during the second world war; 'Beshkempir - The Adopted Son', film from Kyrgyzstan about an adopted son who wished to search the roots regarding his birth; 'Aguirre, the Wrath of God', the German film by Herzog is an adventure one about a soldier; 'Veettilekkulla Vazhi' from malayalam, is the journey of the prison doctor who had taken the task to re-unite a child with his father who is a terrorist. Some says, 'Chitrasoothram' is a different experimental film from malayalam. 'I am Afiya Megha Abhimanyu' is a hindi film reflecting the problems and issues faced by the modern society, told in the backdrops of four cities in the country.

Award winners :

Best Film - 'Portraits in the Sea of Lies'

Second Best Film - 'Last Summer of La Boyita'

Second Best Film (Audience Poll) - 'The Japanese Wife'

Best Film (Federation of Film Critics Award) - 'Buried Secrets'

Best Film from a debutant director - 'Zephyr'

Best Asian Film - 'I am Afiya Megha Abhimanyu'

Best Malayalam Film - 'Veettilekkulla Vazhi'

Best Malayalam Film (Federation of Film Critics Award) - 'Makaramanju'

Best Indian Debut Film - 'Chitrasoothram'

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