The International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), one of the prominent film festivals of India is hosted by the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy on behalf of the Department of Cultural Affairs, Government of Kerala. Over the years, the IFFK has come to be known as Asia’s best managed and probably the world’s most people-centred film festival. The Festival charms the best films, renowned directors, technicians and spectators from across the globe and is acknowledged as one of the leading cultural events in India.
The festival aims at presenting a competition section exclusively for films from Asian, African and Latin American countries and a selection of the best of World Cinema. The IFFK also showcases the Best of Malayalam Cinema for international audience.
The first IFFK was held in Kozhikode in 1996. Incidentally, the Festival was held on the 100th anniversary of cinema and 100 films were screened as part of the event. The Festival was managed by Kerala State Film Development Corporation till 1998 when the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy was formed. The Academy was entrusted with the conduct of IFFK together with other activities for promotion of cinema. Later, the FIAPF accredited the festival and a competition section was added to the event in 1999.
The Festival is held in the first week of December every year in Trivandrum city, more than 10000 delegates from and outside the country register to be a part of it. The eight-day fest conducts the screening of films in the categories International Competition, Malayalam Cinema Today, Indian Cinema Now, World Cinema, Country Focus, Retrospectives of major filmmakers, Contemporary Focus, Homages and various curated packages. Coupled with film screenings, platforms like Open Forum and workshops are also organized for the delegates to interact with film fraternities from all over the world. The annual Aravindan Memorial Lecture is a major event of the Festival.
Golden Crow Pheasant (Suvarna Chakoram) for the Best Film and Silver Crow Pheasant (Rajata Chakoram) for Best Director, Best Debut Director, Audience Prize in the International competition section and NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Cinema) Awards for the Best Asian Film and Best Malayalam film, FIPRESCI (Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique) awards for the Best Film and Best Malayalam Film of a Debut Director, FFSI KR Mohanan Award for the Best Indian Debut Director are the accolades given in the festival. Lifetime Achievement Award is bestowed upon a filmmaker who made significant contributions to the art of cinema during his career.