“India’s cultural diversity is at stake”: Pinarayi Vijayan
Terming filmmaking and film festivals as forms of resistance against a global rise in fascist and oppressive ideologies, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan inaugurated the 24th International Film Festival of Kerala at Nishagandhi Auditorium. The Chief Minister spoke at length about the diversity of people and places in India and how such variety was threatened by ideas of “One Language, One State”. He asserted that filmmaking has a history of being a weapon against authoritarian regimes that stifled diversity and freedom of expression. It was a medium capable of moving masses. The Chief Minister praised the efforts of filmmakers from Third-World countries who had used their art to raise their voice against corrupt and repressive governments. He hoped that the film festival would provide a stage for such efforts to be recognized on an international level. .
Where art is repressed, freedom cannot flourish, he said. Terming the art of cinema as a tool to develop political consciousness in the general public, he pointed out that films could force people to empathise with one another’s problems and forge a common sense of unity.
Minister A.K Balan presided over the event with Minister Kadakampally Surendran as Chief Guest. Kadannappally Ramachandran was also present at the event. Veteran actress Sarada was honoured at the ceremony. The first part of a book on the history of Malayalam cinema was handed over to KSFDC Chairman Shaji N Karun by the Chief Minister.Mayor K Shreekumar, V K Prashanth MLA, District Panchayat President V K Madhu, Jury Chairman Khairy Beshara, Cultural Affairs Secretary Rani George, KTDC Chairman M. Vijayakumar, Councillor Palayam Rajan, Academy Chairman Kamal, Vice-Chairperson Beena Paul, Secretary Mahesh Panchu and many other prominent figures attended the opening ceremony.
The opening film of the 24th edition of the IFFK is Serhat Karaaslan’s psychological drama “Passed By Censor” which was screened at the Nishagandhi Auditorium to a packed audience.