Thiruvananthapuram: Eminent actor Shabana Azmi will be the chief guest of 18th edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala, beginning here Friday with the screening of Israeli movie 'Ana Arabia' (Me, the Arab) by Amos Gitai, a film shot in 85-minute-long single sequence.
IFFK, one of India's leading regional movie galas which attracts viewers from towns and villages alike, will be inaugurated by Chief Minister Oommen Chandy at Nishagandhi open air auditorium in the heart of the city.
Spanish Filmmaker Carlos Saura will be presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award at the inaugural ceremony of the 8-day-long festival.
As many as 211 films from 64 countries under various categories like 'Competition Section', 'World Cinema', 'Indo-German Connection Section', 'Samurai Film Section', 'Retrospective Section' and 'Homage Section' will be screened during the festival.
A total of 14 movies from Asia, Africa and Latin America have been selected for the Competition Section, while the World Cinema segment has 79 movies.
Seven films including those of noted Japanese directors like Kon Ichikawa and Kenji Mizoguchi will comprise the Samurai Film section.
Seeking to mark the centenary celebrations of Indian cinema, a special section titled "Original Glory: 100 Years of Indian Cinema" has been included. It includes Indian classics like Satyajit Ray's "Charulata" and "Bhuvan Shome" of Mrinal Sen.
The country focus segment has seven Nigerian movies, Kerala Film Academy, the organisers of the event, said.
Veteran Mexican filmmaker Arturo Ripstein will chair the jury panel of the Competition Section, which also comprises Thai film maker Aditya Assarat, South African director Khalo Matabane and south Indian actor Gautami.
Around 9000 delegates are expected to participate in the eight-day event, against the 7500 participants in the last year, they said.
Elaborate arrangements have been made at 11 theatres here for the screening of the movies.
Various cultural programmes and interactions with global film personalities will be the added feature of the annual event.
The festival will conclude with a grand valedictory ceremony on December 13.