Thiruvananthapuram: The upcoming edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) is set to charm hearts with an awesome line up of ten international films across as many languages. These films will vie for the top honours in the competition category at the 20th edition of the IFFK this December.
The list has Mamiroo (Immortal, Iran, directed by Hadi Mohaghegh), Anino Sa Likod Ng Buwan (Shadow Behind the Moon, Philippines, Jun Robles Lana), Degrade (Palestine, Arab Nasser), Kalo Pothi (The Black Hen, Nepal, Min Bahadur Bham), Yona (Israel, Nir Bergman),Clarisse ou alguma coisa sobre nos dois (Clarisse or something about us, Brazil, Petrus Cariry), Meurtre à Pacot (Murder in Pacot, Haiti, Raoul Peck), Dolanma (Entanglement, Turkey, Tunc Davut), Bopem (Kazakhstan, Zhanna Issabayeva) and Jalaler Golpo (Jalal’s Story, Bangladesh, Abu Shahed Emon).
In Mamiroo, Mohaghegh explores the story of a lonely, self-loathing old man who repeatedly attempts suicide because of a guilty conscience, while Lana’s Tagalog feature Anino Sa Likod Ng Buwan takes an unwavering look at a refugee couple’s terrifying struggle for survival and tenuous alliance with a military man.
Cariry’s dark supernatural drama, Clarisse ou alguma coisa sobre nos dois, is an oniric, dream-state exploration of the physical, corporal and sensual featuring multiple intertwining narratives.
Both Kalo Pothi and Degrade search for sparks of dark humour and fragile innocence in times of conflict. The loss of their titular black hen in Bham’s film leads two village boys on a carefree search of the war-torn environment in insurgency-ridden Nepal. Nasser’s metaphoric comedy about 13 disgruntled Palestinian women trapped in a beauty salon in the Gaza Strip is chock full of double entendres – the title itself references both the situation in the strip and a French hairstyle.
In Meurtre à Pacot, Peck uses the backdrop of the devastating 2010 earthquake to weave a tale of how an upper middle class affluent couple in Port-au-Prince come to terms with their loss and the new challenges they face. Davut explores a similar theme in Dolanma using as protagonists two woodsmen brothers who struggle in the face of changed familial circumstances an uncertain future.
Bergman’s biopic of Yona Wallach, one of the tallest figures in the pantheon of Hebrew poetry, explores her life and struggles as she takes her first steps to gain acceptance and recognition in what was a male-dominated world.
Bopem and Jalaler Golpo are tales of innocence snuffed-out by life’s vagaries. Issabaveya’s film follows a terminally ill teenager’s attempts to punish those responsible for his mother’s death and his lost childhood. Emon channels Moses on the Nile in the story of Jalal, who struggles against, but can’t escape his child-of-the-river destiny.
The movies were shortlisted by a jury chaired by filmmaker Kamal. The other jury members are filmmaker Sudevan, film critics Sudha Warrier and P.T. Ramakrishnan, and journalist R. Ayyappan.
In what is an especially strong competition field, the international movies will also be up against two Malayalam films – Ottaal (The Trap) by Jayaraj R. and Satish Babusenan’s Chaayam Poosiya Veedu (The Painted House) – and two Indian-language films: Raj Kahini (No Man’s Land) by Srijit Mukherji and The Violin Player by Bauddhayan Mukherji.