Both as an industry and as an art form Malayalam cinema faced uphill challenges by the end of the last century. Grooming better cinematic sensibility among the people with the support of film societies was one important task. Finding avenues abroad for filmmakers was another. Smoothening the relation between the Government and film bodies and among the film bodies themselves was urgently required. Welfare of film artistes had to be ensured. Government formed the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy to address these and kindred problems.
International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) was one of the chief planks of the Academy. In fact Government had started IFFK in a modest way from 1994 onwards. Under the leadership of Academy it soon emerged as one of the important film events of the world. IFFK has a competition section for films from the Asian, African and Latin American films. The non competition section includes inter alia contemporary world cinema and films of great masters. The marketing section is gathering importance year after year.