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The 18th edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) began here today with the guests and audience observing a minute's silent prayer in honour of South African leader Nelson Mandela.
Marking the inaugural of the festival, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy lighted the lamp at a ceremony where eminent actor Shabana Azmi was the Chief Guest.
The screening of Israeli movie 'Ana Arabia' (Me, the Arab) was the opening film of the eight-day event, one of the most
sought-after regional movie galas in country which will see
screening of 211 movies from 64 countries in 11 theatres here.
Spanish filmmaker Carlos Saura was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award during the ceremony.
The movies, selected by an expert panel of Kerala Chalachitra Academy, the organiser of the event, will be screened under various categories like 'Competition Section', 'World Cinema', 'Indo-German Connection Section', 'Samurai Film Section', 'Retrospective Section' and 'Homage Section' during the festival.
A total of 14 movies from Asia, Africa and Latin America have been selected for the competition section, while the World Cinema segment has 79 movies.
Seven films including those of noted Japanese directors like Kon Ichikawa and Kenji Mizoguchi will comprise the Samurai Film section.
Seeking to mark the centenary celebrations of Indian cinema, a special section titled "Original Glory: 100 Years of Indian Cinema" has been included. It includes Indian classics like 'Charulata' of Satyajit Ray and 'Bhuvan Shome' of Mrinal Sen and so on.
The country focus segment has seven Nigerian movies, Kerala Film Academy, the organisers of the event, said.
Veteran Mexican film-maker Arturo Ripstein will chair the jury panel of the Competition Section, which also comprise Thai film maker Aditya Assarat, South African director Khalo Matabane and south Indian actor Gautami.
Festival fever gripped the capital city with delegates from and outside the state beginning to flow here.