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Kerala 2008 awards

Two Outstanding films from Mexico and Venezuela bagged top honors at 13th International Film Festival of Kerala 2008 awards ceremony.

Mexican film “Parque Via” directed by Enrique Rivero was declared best film. His film is a sad tale of loneliness experienced by a caretaker of a large mansion in Mexico City. Enrique Rivero had already won prizes at Locarno and Nantes for this film. Venezuelan filmmaker Mariana Rondon was chosen as best director for her film “Postcards from Leningrad”. This surreal film talks about young children engaged in guerilla warfare with their parents in a humorous tone.

13th International Film Festival of Kerala 2008 got off to a flying start on 12th December 2008 when it screened a humanist tale “Laila’s Birthday” directed by acclaimed Palestinian director Rashid Masharawi. This poetic film talks about a simple taxi driver who overcomes all chaotic obstacles in a single day to be able to celebrate his daughter’s birthday. According to Rashid Masharawi his film is a description of confusion that currently reigns in the life of Palestinians.

The highlight of this year’s festival was its eclectic mix of retrospectives, tributes and homages. The committed, young audience at the festival got a chance to see remarkable films by world cinema masters Alain Resnais, Amos Gitai, Fatih Akin, Fernando Birri, Idrissa Ouedraogo, late Jules Dassin, Karen Shaknazarov, Samira Makhmalbaf and late Youssef Chahine. The famous Russian director and CEO of MOSFILM studio Mr.Karen Shaknazarov was present at the festival where five of his film were shown under “Comtemporary Masters” section.

International Film Festival of Kerala is considered as one of India’s most renowned film festivals. It is believed that it is one of the very few festivals in Asia which is independently managed by film professionals. Its rising popularity is due to its cinema literate audience. For its 13th edition around 8500 registered delegates saw more than 250 films from 26 categories. The competition section at this festival is restricted to films from Asia, Africa and Latin America. Bina Paul Venugopalan, a leading name in Kerala state’s cinematographic landscape is the main architect behind the success of this festival.She has contributed to her festival’s popularity by selecting hard to find films.

A unique event at the festival was the launch of a new section called “Looking back : 50 years ago”. This category was conceptualized by Mr. P.K. Nair, ex director National film Archive of Pune, India. According to Mr.P.K.Nair, this section was created for the benefit of young film students and film enthusiasts in order to give them a chance to analyze golden classics of the past. This section showcased films made in year 1958 by Andrzej Wajda (Ashes and Diamonds), Bert Haanstra (Glass), Ingmar Bergman (The Magician), Jack Clayton (Room at the top), Jacques Tati (Mon Oncle), Luis Bunuel (Nazarin) and Satyajit Ray (The Music Room)

Awards presented at 13th International Film Festival of Kerala 2008 (Trivandrum 12-19 December,2008)

International Jury :

Idrissa Ouedraogo (Chairperson,Burkina Faso)

Lucia Murat (Brazil)

Sitora Alieva (Russia)

Jabbar Patel (India)

Samira Makhmalbaf (Iran)

Jury Award (Golden Crow Pheasant) for Best Film : Enrique Rivero (Parque Via,Mexico)

Jury Award (Silver Crow Pheasant) for Best Director : Mariana Rondon (Postcards from Leningrad,Venezuela)

Jury Award (Silver Crow Pheasant) for Best Début Director : Husein Karabey (My Marlon and Brando,Turkey)

Audience awards for the Best Film : Uberto Pasolini (Machan,Italy)

Special Jury Prize for the debutant Director :Nandita Das (Firaaq,India)

Special Prize of the Jury : Amor Hakkar (The Yellow House,Algeria)


Chris Fujiwara (Chairperson,USA)

Barbara Lorey (France)

Manoj Barpujari (India)

FIPRESCI Award : Mariana Rondon (Postcards from Leningrad, Venezuela)

FIPRESCI award for the best Malayalam language film :Anjali Menon (Manjadikkuru,India)


Max Tessier (Chairperson,France)

Freddie Wong (Hong Kong)

Sudhir Mishra (India)

NETPAC award for Best Asia Film : Husein Karabey (My Marlon and Brando,Turkey)

A newly instituted award in memory of Hassankutty for the best Indian debut director was presented to Anjali Menon for her début film "Manjadikkuru".

By Hitesh Rao

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