Thiruvananthapuram: Battered by cyclone Ockhi, Kerala will forgo the inaugural ceremony of its mega film festival which opens here Friday, organisers said.
The 22nd edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) will open with the French-Lebanese film, "The Insult", which explores the lives of refugees in Arab countries.
The festival will begin on a quiet note without the opening ceremony as the southern state is yet to recover from the cyclone which hit the Kerala coast last week, claiming 36 lives and causing widespread damage.
Directed by Lebanese filmmaker Ziad Doueiri, the opening film bagged the Volpi Cup at the Venice International Film Festival and would be screened tomorrow evening, marking the start of the festival, organising body Kerala Film Academy said.
Bengali actress Madhabi Mukherjee, the star of Satyajit Ray's 1964 film "Charulata", and South Indian actor Prakash Raj are expected to attend the first screening.
The Kerala government had yesterday said the controversial Malayalam movie "S Durga" would be screened at the festival if it got a clearance from the Kerala high court.
The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) had cancelled the certification of the film on November 28. The films producer and director have challenged the suspension of the certificate in the Kerala High Court.
According to the Academy, 190 films from 65 countries would be screened at the one week-long gala.
The competition section includes 14 films, of which two are in Malayalam.
Films will be shown in 20 different categories such as Indian Cinema Today, Malayalam Films Today, Contemporary Masters in Focus, Retrospective and Identity and Space.
This year, films from Brazil will be the Country Focus. Six films curated by film scholar Stefan Solomon will be exhibited in this section, Academy sources said.
The festival would screen the films of 35 women directors under various categories and these would focus on the subject of Being Woman.
Four of the 14 films in the International Competition section have been made by women.
Rima Das is the only woman director in the Indian Cinema Now section.
In the Uprooted: Films on identity and space category, Geethu Mohandas?s film "Liars Dice" will be screened. Bengali award-winning filmmaker Aparna Sen, who will deliver the Aravindan Memorial lecture, will also screen her latest feature film "Sonata", which is about three unmarried women living in a metropolis.
Marco Mueller, who was festival director at various international film festivals, is the jury chairman of IFFK this year.
Filmmakers T V Chandran, Colombian actor Marlon Moreno, French editor Mary Stephen and African cinema scholar and film critic Aboubakar Sanogo are also on the jury.
The festival will pay homage to cinema personalities K R Mohanan, I V Sasi, Kundan Shah and Om Puri, who died this year, and former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa.
A total of 8,848 seats have been arranged in various theatres in the town for the festival, which would conclude on December 15, Academy sources added.