Thiruvananthapuram: The curtains went up on the 24th edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala here with Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan declaring the annual event open at Nishagandhi stadium here on Friday evening.
Speaking at the function, Vijayan said the IFFK is a cultural platform to defend and spread the message of humanity.
"Our youngsters can make wonderful movies if they have the ability and dedication.
The festival has raised the bar of viewing standards of Keralites,", he said, adding their pleasure must come from good movies.
The festival has raised the bar of viewing standards of Keralites, Vijayan added.
The Chief Minister also released the first volume of the the book, which records the history of Malayalam cinema by handing over a copy to ace director Shaji N Karun, who is also the Kerala State Film Development Corporation (KFDC) Chairman.
Culture minister A K Balan was among those present.
This year's edition will see around 186 films being screened from 73 countries in 14 sections.
The festival opened with Turkish Filmmaker Serhat Karaaslan's debut film 'Passed By Censor' on the life of a prison official who is in charge of controlling the letters that prisoners receive.
Director Kamal, chairman of the Kerala Chalachitra Academy, said legendary Argentinian film maker and the pioneer of third cinema, Fernando Solanas, will be honoured with the lifetime achievement award this year.
Over 50 films will have their premiere at this year's festival.
In honour of veteran Malayalam actor Sharada, who was the special guest at the function, seven of her films, including 'Yakshi', will be screened in the Malayalam Retrospective segment.
This year's IFFK edition will feature debutante director Shareef Easa's state award winning film 'Kanthan: The Lover of Colour', in the Kaleidoscope section.
The World Cinema section will feature 92 films, including comedy thriller 'Korean Parasite', directed by Boong Joon Ho and the musical drama 'Les Miserables.'
Contemporary Masters in Focus will have seven films of Swedish film maker Roy Anderson and French director Tony Gatlif, while Indian Cinema Now will feature seven films which portrays contemporary Indian society,
The Malayalam section Now will feature 12 films.
The festival will also pay homage to Girish Karnad, Lenin Rajendran, M J Radhakrishnan, Miss Kumari and T K Pareekutty for their contributions to Indian cinema.
Fourteen theatres in the capital city will host the week long festival, for which differently abled delegates and senior citizens over the age of 70 will not have to wait in queues to enter the cinema halls.
The Kerala Chalachitra Academy, the organisers,said about 10,500 delegates have already registered for the festival.
This year, a film market for marketing Malayalam cinema will be held and marketing centres will be set up between December 8-11.