The delegate fee for the International Film Festival of Kerala has been raised from Rs 650 to Rs 2,000 as a fund-raising measure, Kerala Cultural Affairs Minster AK Balan has announced. No free passes will be issued this year, but students will get a 50% discount, The Hindu reported. Balan added that the expenses will be limited to Rs 3.5 crores, down from Rs 6.35 crores last year. The festival will be held from December 7-13, a day short of its usual eight-day run.
The Kerala government had last month cancelled all state-funded events for a year to concentrate resources on flood relief. The state in August was hit by unprecedented floods that killed 483 people and displaced over a million. However, at a meeting between the government and the festival organisers, Kerala State Chalachitra Academy, it was decided that the event would be held on a limited budget and without state funds.
“Despite the difficulties in organising the festival after the devastating floods, we decided to go ahead and ensure the continuity of the event that is part of the international circuit,” Balan told the media on Wednesday. “Besides, cultural events have a big role to play in post-disaster recovery.”
IFFK has also invited fewer foreign delegates and jury members and reduced the number of international films, as part of cost-saving measures. It has also scrapped the Lifetime Achievement Award for contribution to the film industry, which includes a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh.
A total of 120 films will be screened at IFFK. These include 14 films in the international competition, 14 Malayalam films, and nine titles in the Indian Cinema section. Several sections have been dropped. The inaugural ceremony will pay homage the flood victims, while the valedictory function will be simple and low-key, Balan said. The festival will also do away with cultural programmes, workshop, exhibition, master class and panel discussion, but will retain the open forums.