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18th Kerala International Film Festival, 2013

"Errata" (Iván Vescovo)

"The press seems to be against us this year" remarked Bina Paul, artistic director of the 18th Festival of Kerala. It would, however, be easy to counter that this most cine-literate of Indian Film Festivals, held in Thiruvanathapuram (formerly the easier to pronounce Trivandrum) offers work of a higher standard than that of those who criticize it.  It also has the benefit of the most enthusiastic audiences in India.

Admittedly there were glitches this year. Mexican director Arturo Ripstein, head of the jury, ordered special screenings of the competition films rather than face the onrushing crowds who not only occupied  even the jury seats, refusing to move, but parked themselves in every available isle space too. Often to get in at all, even as a juror, was a fraught business.

But then Trivandrum film-goers are a keen and starved lot, and the Festival caters for them in good measure. Whether they like what they see is another matter. But if the competition, open to films from Asia, Africa and Latin- American, lacked much strength in depth, the world section was full of good things. Added to that there were retrospectives of the work of Bellochio, Clare Denis, Carlos Saura, Goran Paskaljevic and Jean Renoir among others and there was a full quota of new Indian films, concentrating on those from the area in question. And Indian cinemas as catered for with a special emphasis on the Malayalam variety.

Those complaining about the general quality of the films would better reflect on the state of world cinema, even in a good year, than on the perceptive nature of the programmers. This is a Festival cherished throughout the South as a brave and distinctive event fashioned for its audiences rather than its own greater glory. (Derek Malcolm)

18th Kerala International Film Festival (India, December 6–13, 2013). Jury: Derek Malcolm, Great Britain ("The London Evening Standard"), Mr. Koichi Nojima, Japan ("Mainichi Shimbun"), Rwita Dutta, India ("FilmBuff"). FIPRESCI Prize in the Malayalam section:  Virgin Talkies (Kanyaka Talkies) directed by K.R. Manoj (2013, 118min). FIPRESCI Prize in the international competition section: Errata (Argentina, 2012, 74min) directed by Iván Vescovo.


Kerala Summing Up. Marco Bellochio, Arturo Ripstein, Carlos Saura and Goran Paskaljevic were present this year at the Festival. But guess who was cheered to the rafters? It was South Korean director Kim Ki -Duk, hailed as a hero in Kerala despite the fact that few in his home country take much notice of him. Derek Malcolm's report. arrow.
Passion for Cinema. God's own country, as Kerala calls itself, has a deep culture, a unique cuisine and a landscape of great beauty. What makes it even more attractive during the month of December each year is the intellectual pursuit of cinema which over the years has been able to draw film buffs from all over the world to Thiruvantapuram, the cultural capital of Kerala. Rwita Dutta's report. arrow.
Beautiful Kerala, Fine Film Festival. Koichi Nojima writes about his impressions about Kerala Film Festival. arrow.



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Kerala 2013

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Language editor:
Derek Malcolm