CM: ORIGINAL SPEECH (TEXT)
I am extremely happy to associate myself with the IFFK, which has become a festival of International repute, over the years. At the outset I would like to tell you that this festival has became the pride and privilege of our State, people and the government.
As you are aware, Kerala is the only State Government in India that hosts a Film Festival of this magnitude. The Government has ensured that this is not an elitist event it is an event that is well within the reach of all art lovers.
While Bollywood and Hollywood dominate all distribution channels it is in a Film Festival like this that we get to see films from many other parts of the world. This becomes a cultural eye opener and encourages the culture of diversity and tolerance. Films are the window to the world. As the famous filmmaker Mr. Werner Herzog said on this very stage: “The World comes to Kerala for these eight days”.
180 Films from 65 countries at 14 venues for Eight days transforms Trivandrum into a festival city. All arrangements have been made by the Chalachitra Academy, the Corporation, the Tourism dept and the Government to ensure the smooth conduct of this massive event.
The Government of Kerala is committed to the Film Industry both as a medium of entertainment as well as an art form that communicates and educates. A healthy film Industry contributes greatly to the Economy of the State too. The Film Industry provides livelihood for thousands of people and the more films that are made the more job opportunities it creates. Films have become a means of attracting people to visit the State and in that way it gives a boost to tourism.
In its budget the Kerala Govt. has made a sizable allotment for the setting up of a Film Festival Complex. Today we are happy to announce that this dream is going to become a reality. Land has been identified in Chitranjali studio and work has begun for the construction of a world class International Film Festival Complex. Within two to three years we will be able to conduct the Festival in this complex, which will have all the modern facilities. This Government is going to turn this wish of thousands of delegates into a reality.
Among the audience and on the dais we have great filmmakers from all over the world. Mr. Jiri Menzel, from the Czech Republic who is to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, Mr. Michel Khliefi from Palestine who is the Jury Chairperson, Mr. Haile Gerima from Ethopia and many others. I wish them all a pleasant stay in Kerala. Here you will get a chance to meet and interact with one of the most cine literate audience in the world. I welcome all the filmmakers, delegates, press and look forward to the closing ceremony when we would get to know which films wins the Award. I have great pleasure in formally inaugurating the 21st International Film Festival of Kerala. I declare it open.