The 25th International Film Festival of Kerala: “The heart of the festival is Malayalam cinema”

Posted on February 16, 2021


bina paul

It takes a village to put together a film festival, but when it comes to the films themselves, the proof is in the programming. Bina Paul, Artistic Director of the International Film Festival of Kerala, talks about pulling off a live festival in these virtual times.

Congratulations on pulling off two big premieres, with Lijo Jose Pellissery’s Churuli and Sanal Kumar Sasidharan’s A’hr. How difficult was this? I’m sure programmers all over the world must have clamoured for these films.

Well, Lijo is comparatively easy, because he has recognised that this festival is important. We’ve had a rather fraught relationship with Sanal, with many years of ups and downs. But I think both of them really realised the worth of being here. I think Sanal’s main bone of contention is often that he’s not [selected] here and I think that does hurt him, like it does hurt many filmmakers. But the fact is we have twelve slots and about 140 films, so there is this business of choice. And I think every filmmaker does feel their film is very important. So yes, the relationship with Sanal is very fraught, but surprisingly it was easy. There was no question of A’hr not being here.

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