Human Flow
, a documentary directed by Chinese conceptual artist Ai Weiwei, that focuses on the large-scale migrations and refugee crisis across the globe, will be the opening film of the 11th edition of the International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala (IDSFFK), which will be held in the capital from July 20 to 24. The film pans across 23 countries, tracing the movement of people forced to leave their homeland and set out on a journey of uncertainty.

Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate the festival at a function at Kairali Theatre at 6 p.m. on July 20. Documentary filmmaker Rakesh Sharma will be the chief guest. Culture Minister A.K. Balan will preside. The State Chalachitra Academy, organiser of the festival, has also introduced a Lifetime Achievement award for the first time in the festival. Anand Patwardhan has been chosen for the award, which carries a cash prize of Rs. 2 lakh and a sculpture. Five of his documentaries and three music videos shot early in his career will be screened.

The documentary to be chosen as the best in the long documentary category at the IDSFFK will also get a chance to compete for the Oscar awards for documentaries. Addressing a press conference along with Chalachitra Academy chairman Kamal here on Tuesday, vice chairperson Bina Paul said this is the first time that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has agreed to such an arrangement with an Indian film festival.

A total of 64 films have been chosen in the competition category, under the categories of long documentary, short documentary, short fiction and campus film. Nine animation films and 13 music videos have been included in the festival. A special package produced by the Public Service Broadcasting Trust titled ‘Engaging with sexuality’ will also be screened. Five films of feminist historian and cultural critic Lata Mani will be screened.

Twenty Iranian short films, which have won acclaim at various festivals, are another attraction. ‘Cinephilia’ is a special package of films on film theorists and film buffs. In the fiction category, the jury includes Kannada filmmaker Kavitha Lankesh, Iranian short filmmaker Amir Masood Suhaili and filmmaker and editor Mahesh Narayanan. In the non-fiction category, the jury is Palestine filmmaker Raed Andoni, filmmaker and screenwriter Parohmita Vohra and documentary filmmaker R.P. Amudhan.

In all, 206 films will be screened in various categories. The screenings will be held at Kairali, Sree and Nila theatres. The prize money for all the awards have been doubled, with the winners of the long documentary and short film categories getting a prize money of Rs. 2 lakh, short documentary category, Rs. 1 lakh and campus film winner, Rs. 50,000.

Delegate registration can be done through the The registration fee for adults is Rs. 300 and for students Rs. 150. Delegate cards will be distributed from July 19. A delegate registration help desk is now functioning at the Chalachitra Academy’s office at Sasthamangalam in Thiruvananthapuram.

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