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We hope our message gets through: Filmmaker Jiju Antony on 3rd edition of KIFF 2019

The Kazhcha-Niv Indie Film Festival (KIFF) began with a hall packed with an eager audience that welcomed another edition of this festival that continues to break conventional norms.

Sukhpreet Kahlon

The third edition of the Kazhcha-Niv Indie Film Festival (KIFF) began in an unusual way. Instead of inviting a well-renowned, established personality from the industry, young filmmaker Natesh Hegde was invited to inaugurate the event. Hegde’s short film Distant was screened as part of the inauguration. His next film Pedro is in post-production and was the winner at NFDC's Film Bazaar project market where it was part of the Work-In-Progress lab.

Filmmaker Jiju Antony, secretary of Kazhcha Film Forum and the co-organiser of KIFF, greeted the audience and mentioned the reasons for choosing Hegde saying, "We believe he has made a wonderful film and we would like to place him in the forefront. This is a political statement from us. The very founding reason of this festival is to give filmmakers a platform and recognition where it is due."

Filmmaker Natesh Hegde

He spoke about the beginnings of the festival that were rooted in protest, saying, "The way we started this small resistance and protest, there are so many others who are protesting in different ways. We feel that this festival is still very relevant and we hope to continue the role of reminding people what kind of films we should be showing, what kind of selection process we should have, so we hope our message gets through."

This year's festival includes 12 films from all over India, which will be in competition for the ‘Best Film KIFF 2019’ award. In another unusual move, the jury for the competition is comprised of people from different cultural spheres who have a good understanding of cinema instead of featuring only veterans form the industry.

Among them, is a special jury member, 17-year-old Maithili, who studies in a tribal school in Kerala. Her inclusion is to understand how teenagers view the films in the selection. Although she will be part of the jury team, she will have no voting rights.  

The screening hall was packed with an eager audience that was waiting to watch the opening film, Sajin Baabu's Biriyaani.

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Kazhcha Indie Film Festival