Monday, December 29, 2008


From this year onwards, SIGNS will be THE INDIAN FESTIVAL OF FEATURES AND NON-FEATURES, showcasing the best among independent, experimental and innovative attempts in film/ Video media from India.
SIGNS includes a national level competition for feature films. Films made in any format - video, digital or film - are eligible to participate in the competition. Apart from awards for categories like the best feature, short feature, non- feature and cinema of resistance, there will be another award for the best experimental work - cinema experimenta - from this year. The last two awards are irrespective of the category.
One of the prestigious gallery sections of the festival will be dedicated to video art from India and abroad.
SIGNS also showcases selected animation films, advertisements and spot films in different gallery sections.

1. Best Feature
(Duration 70 minutes or above)
Prize money: Rs 1 lakh

2. Best Documentary
Prize money: Rs 25,000/-

3. Best Short Feature
(Duration less than 70 minutes)
Prize money: Rs 25,000/-

4. " Cinema of Resistance"

(Award for the best film/video on subjects like state oppression, human rights violation, environmental issues
or any other matter that suppresses the human spirit, especially in the areas
Like gender equality, social/cultural identity etc)
Prize money : Rs25,000/-

5.the best experimental work – "cinema experimenta"
(Award for the best experimental attempt that expands the horizons of the medium, both aesthetically and technically.)
Prize money: Rs25, 000/-

All awards carry a Certificate of Merit and a memento.


All Features made after 1st Jan 2008 and
non features /short features made after 1st January 2007

Films submitted for previous editions of SIGNS/ JA awards are not eligible.

70 minutes or above for features,
less than 70 minutes for Short Features and
no time limit for documentaries.

Language: Any language with English subtitle or dubbed in English.


Last date for submission of applications : 5th JANUARY 2009
(along with a DVD copy and entry fee of Rs.2000/- for features and
Rs.500/-for non/ short features)

Intimation of selection : 20th JANUARY 2009

Final submission of selected films : 5th February 2009

Selection procedure
A preview committee of filmmakers, critics and technicians will short-list the entries, for screening before the award Jury.
Besides the films chosen for the Competition section, selected films will be screened in Focus, the non-Competitive section.

Format for final submission
The films must be submitted in DV/Mini DV or 35mm format.

How to Apply
Application forms are available from:

Federation of Film Societies of India.
Kalabhavan, Vazhuthacaud
Thiruvananthapuram – 695 014, Keralam.
E-mail :
or can be downloaded from

Duly filled applications should reach the above address on or before
5th JANUARY 2009 accompanied by the following:

a. A copy of the film in DVD format
b. Necessary demand draft in favour of
Federation of Film Societies of India, payable at
Thiruvananthapuram. (Non refundable)
c. Brief synopsis of the film/documentary
d. Three stills from the film/documentary
e. Brief biography of the Director
f. Two photographs of the Director

more info can be had from
Federation of Film Societies of India
Kerala Sub Region
Kalabhavan, Vazhuthacad
tel:0471 2321953, mob:+91 9446748294,
+91 9447401822,+91 9946089946.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mexican film"Parque Via,won the top prize of 13th edition of International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK)

Mexican film-maker Enrique Rivero , won the top prize of International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), the Golden Crow Pheasant Award known as Suvarna Chakoram and a cash prize of Rs. 1,000,000/- (about US$20,000), for his film "Parque Via,". The Spanish-born director Rivero follows Beto,the care taker. Beto, who has isolated himself in the empty house where he used to work as a servant, with his contacts limited to only two people... All days of Beto's life are same.In his mornings, the alarm rings at the same time; he takes a bath, eats his breakfast and gets to work. He cleans the house, cuts the lawn and irons his white suits. The routine of it doesn't seem to bother the old man .With the house up for sale Beto -- who has developed a fear of the world outside -- is confronted with the dilemma of leaving or finding a way to remain in his self-imposed prison .With the house up for sale Beto -- who has developed a fear of the world outside -- is confronted with the dilemma of leaving or finding a way to remain in his self-imposed prison .. The film earlier won the top prize of Switzerland's Locarno Film Festival . Fourteen films from Asia, Africa and Latin America have competed for the Golden and Silver Crow Pheasant Awards known as Suvarna /Rajatha Chakoram.. "My Marlon and Brando", directed by Huseyin Karabey from Turkey, which was chosen as the best debut film also got a 'Rajatha Chakoram' (Silver Pheasant). Sri Lankan film "Machan" directed by Uberto Pasolini won the audience award . The prize for the best Malayalam debut film instituted by director Mira Nair went to "Manjadikkuru" (Red seed from a tree) by Anjali Menon. The FIPRESCI jury selected "Postcards from Leningrad" as the best film and "Manjadikkuru" as the best Malayalam film. Special jury prizes were awarded to Nandita Das' for her debut film "Firaaq" and "Yellow House", an Algeria-France co-production directed by Amor Hakkar. The NETPAC (Network for the Promotion of Asian Film Centre) award went to "My Marlon and Brando". Culture Minister M A Baby, Culture Ministe presented the main jury awards.the award function started with the concert of soofi singer Zilla khan .Theere was a bharathanatyam performance based on Vallathol poem after the award presentation function followed by the screening of the film "Parque Via,"

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Third annual National Short and Documentary Film Festival 2009 organised by Karimnagar Film Society

The Third annual National Short and Documentary Film Festival 2009 organised by Karimnagar Film Society.The Third annual National Short and Documentary Film Festival 2009 organised by Karimnagar Film Society (affiliated to FFSI) seeks documentaries, short films of any length and format for the festival scheduled from February 14-19 at Karimnagar, Andhra Pradesh.Festival consists of two sections one competitive section for the India Roller Awards and the second one is the non-competitive festival of 3rd National Short and Documentary Film Festival 2009.In the competitive section two India Roller Awards for the short and documentary films separately.first prize carries Rs.10,000=00(Rupees ten thousand),a Memento and a citation and second prize Rs5000=00 (Rupees five thousand) ,Memento and a citation. The deadline is 31 December 2008.Also visit for further details:

Firaaq -Nandita Das' debut in IFFK competition

Nandita Das is known to film enthusiasts for her performances in films like Fire, Earth, Bawander,Nalu Pennungal(four women ) and many other . She had in her credit over 30 feature films, in different languages, most of them have been shown in a number of international film festivals and have won her critical acclaim. She was a member of the jury at the Cannes IFF in 2005 and at the Karlovy Vary IFF in 2007. Firaaq is her directorial debut .The story is set over a 24-hour period, one month after the carnage that took place in Gujarat, India in 2002. This sectarian violence killed more than 3000 Muslims, hundreds of thousands were made homeless and the number of women raped is still unknown. The filmtraces the emotional journeys of ordinary people– somewhowere victims, some perpetrators and some who chose to watch silently. A middle class housewife closes the door on a victimand struggles to overcome her guilt. A bunch of youngmen having suffered the violence, seek revenge to fight their helplessness and anger. A boy desperately searches for hismissing father, having lost the rest of his family in the riots. A saintly musician clings on to his idealism, despite all the violence in the city, until an incident shakes his faith.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Usthad mesmerized IFFK delegates

It is a very rare experience to the delegates of an international film festival to witness a live performance of a maestro in connection with the screening of a film about him. It happened in the IFFFK today . Pandit Shivkumar Sharma , the renowned Sandoor legend stole the hearts of thousands of music lovers in the Nisagangdhi Auditoium here by performing two famous Hindusthani Ragas in Sandoor , the magic instrument with 100 strings. He started his concert in Rag Vachaspathi followed by Rag Pahadi with a new composition. He was accompanied in Tabla by Ramkumar Mishra and in Shruti by Haridas. The film Andardwani a celluloid ode to Pandit Sharma himself-his music and his life-by the accomplished director Jabbar Patel is being screened in the 13th edition of International Film Festival of Kerala .

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Glittering Start for IFFK 2008

The 13th edition of International film festival of Kerala (IFFK 2008) was inaugurated by V.S Achuthananthan, Chief Minister of Kerala, by lighting the traditional lamp ,in the presence of M.A Baby, Minister for Culture ,O.N.V Kurup, well known poet of Malayalam, K. R Vijaya,actor of yester years, Jayan Babu, Mayor of the city, Karen Shakhnazarov, Director from Russia, Dr. Venu, Cultural Secretary, Sivankutty, Member of Legislative Assembly, K.R Mohanan, Chairman Chalachitra Academy, Dr K. S Sreekumar , Executive Director of IFFK. Folkore Academy performed cultural programme, followed by the inaugural Palestinian film "Laila's Birthday" directed by Rashid Masharawi. A packed auditorium, including film enthusiasts, media persons and delegates from India and abroad witnessed the inaugural function . The ceremony paid homage to the martyrs who killed in the terrorist attack in Mumbai last month by lighting candles and recital of a poem written by the renowned poet O.N.V.Kurup.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

'Laila's Birthday' directed by Rashid Masharawi is the opening film in the 13th IFFK

Palestinian director Rashid Masharawi's 'Laila's Birthday' will be the opening film in the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), which is scheduled to begin from December 12. Rashid Masharawi was born and raised in the Shati refugee camp, Gaza Strip, and is a self-taught filmmaker. In 1996 he founded the Cinema Production and Distribution Center (CPC), which offers workshops to young Palestinian filmmakers. The CPC also initiated the Mobile Cinema Project, which brings screenings to refugee camps. His credits as director include Curfew(93), Haifa (96), Ticket to Jerusalem (02), En directe de Palestine (02), Arafat, mon frère (05), Attente (05) and Laila's Birthday(08).
Life in an occupied territory is never easy. Director Rashid Masharawi, concentrates his focus on a single day, crafting a cynical comedy about a father, his daughter and the disorder all around them. It is the morning of his daughter's birthday. Abu Laila has promised to bring home a birthday cake to celebrate, but first he has to make it through the day. He sets out with his briefcase and steps into a taxi – which he drives. This is just the first of many incongruities. Abu Laila must explain time after time during his day, “I'm a judge, but actually I'm a taxi driver.” An esteemed member of the judiciary, he was invited to practise in Palestine, but bureaucracy has kept him from gaining his papers. So he supports his family by driving a taxi.It's not the humiliation that drives him crazy, it's the chaos. Abu Laila is a functionary. He is adamant that passengers fasten their seat belts. He insists on no smoking. He refuses passengers who jump into his cab with AK-47s slung over their shoulders. With his thin moustache and watery eyes, Mohamed Bakri has a dour, proper face built for comedy. He looks like Buster Keaton and moves through the dusty, ramshackle setting with the fastidiousness of Chaplin's Little Tramp. In fact, silent comedy may be one of the strongest influences in Laila's Birthday, even if it is a mobile phone that sets off one of the film's best chain of gags. Masharawi embeds the politics of his context under the surface. True, Abu Laila must endure armed clients, bomb scares and raging arguments about occupation, but mainly he just wants everyone to behave. When at last he makes it home and is asked how his day was, the payoff is just perfect.

Fourteen films Competing from the Third World in International Film Festival of Kerala 2008

Fourteen films from Asia, Africa and Latin America are competing for the the Golden Crow Pheasant Award known as Suvarna Chakoram and a cash prize of Rs. 1,000,000/- (about US$20,000) to the best feature film to be shared equally by the director and the producer ,the Silver Crow Pheasant Award known as Rajata Chakoram and a cash prize of Rs. 300,000/- (about US$6,000) to the best director. There are other awards like Best Debut Film Award of Rajata Chakoram and a cash prize of Rs. 200,000/- (about US$ 4,000) to the best debut director ,Audience Prize ,Rajata Chakoram and cash prize of Rs. 100,000 (about US$ 2,000) to the Director of the most popular film voted by the festival delegates. A FIPRESCI Award for the best film chosen by the Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique and another FIPRESCI Award for the Best Malayalam Cinema The competition section is restricted to films produced in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Netpac award goes to the best film in the competition section from Asia and also a Netpac Award for the Best Malayalam Film .. The impressive list from various countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America set to adorn the competition section are, 'Dreams of Dust', 'Farewell Gulsary', 'Firaaq', 'Gulabi Talkies', 'Hafez', 'Machan', 'My Marlon and Brando', 'Parque Vie', 'Postcards from Leningrad', 'Refugee', 'The Photograph', 'The Yellow House', 'The Imprints' and 'Castles in the Air'.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

145 Eminent Personalities as Guests in the 13th IFFK

145 prominent film personalities from around the world are attending the 13th Internationalal Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK 2008) according to the Festival Directorate. This include some of the worlds leading Film Distribution Companies like Celluliod Dreams, Pioniwa films, C.K.Productions, Pyramide , Palador Films, PVR Films and NDTV. Amos Gitai, Idrissa Ouedrago, Shakhnazarov Karen, Kehtan Mehta, Subash Gai are among the directors from 23 countries . Fernando Birri , celebrated Latin American Director and K.R.Vijaya , known Indian actor of yester years will be the Guests of hounor for the Inaugural ceremony . Most of the directors of competition section will also be on the guest list. Indians presence in the guests line up include Girish Kasaravelli, K.P.Kumaran, M.G.Sasi and Nandhitha Das .. Representatives of Ten International Film Festivals will also attend the fest

Thursday, December 4, 2008

"The Secret of the Grain" bagged Prix FIPRESCI

- The 21st European Film Awards - Critics' Award 2008
- “The Secret of the Grain" directed by Abdellatif Kechiche bagged Prix
The European Film Academy, EFA Productions, and the International Federation of Film Critics FIPRESCI have announced that the European Film Academy Critics' Award 2008 — Prix FIPRESCI goes to Abdellatif Kechiche for "The Secret of the Grain" ("La graine et le mulet").
As FIPRESCI's Hassouna Mansouri, Director of the Department for African Affairs, explains, "giving this year's prize to Abdellatif Kechiche, the International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI) recognises an author in the purest and simplest meaning of the word. The award not only pays tribute to all those filmmakers who are often marginalised because of their origins, but above all recognises the talent of those who are committed to a different and independent cinema; those who stand against the war machines and their grip on the industry of the image. With low-budget films - which are nonetheless difficult to finance - Kechiche is involved in a struggle which brings together classic texts like those of Marivaux with the young 'beurs' of Nice, the city where he grew up."The award will be presented during the 21st European Film Awards Ceremony on 6 December, 2008, in Copenhagen.


Golden Peacock for the Kazakhstan film 'Tulpan'

-Director Ergei Dvortsevoy wins both Golden & Silver peacock
-Special Jury award goes to Sri Lankan actor Malini Fonseka

The 39th International Film Festival of India (2008) concluded with the screening of Iranian film 'The Song of the Sparrows', directed by Majid Majidi. The closing ceremony started with a minute of silence in memory of victims of recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai .Director Sergei Dvortsevoy bagged the best film award with the Golden Peacock and a cash award of 40 lakh for the Kazakhstan film 'Tulpan'. The Silver Peacock and a cash award of Rs. 15 also bagged by Sergei Dvortsevoy being choosen as the Most Promising Director.. Tulpan is a cinematic triumph that pulls us in a world where man can live in peace with nature said the citation. Dvortsevoy thanked the audience for sharing his very Kazakh but universal story. He said films cannot change the world but they can change people and people can change the world.The Special Jury Award has gone to Sri Lankan actress Malini Fonseka whose film 'Akasa Kusum' featured in the Competition Section. The winner was presented a Silver Peacock, a cash prize of Rs. 15 lakh and a certificate. Fonseka said that her film was an India Sri Lanka co-production and the time has come for a closer relationship between the two countries. She also hoped for peace and happiness everywhere in these troubled times.
Five Member competition jury was headed by the noted Director from Hong Kong Mr. Peter Chan. Other members of the jury are Mr. Marco Mueller (Venice), Ms. Niki Karimi (Iran), Mr. Lav Diaz (Philippines) and Ms. Tabassum Hashmi (Tabu- India). Two Indian entries S. Priyadarshan's Tamil film Kanchivaram and Ramesh Laxman More's acclaimed Marathi film Mahasatta were in the competition section among 13 other films chosen from Bangladesh, Russia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, Iran, the Philippines, Argentina, China and Japan. Chief Guest at the closing ceremony was noted Film Actor Shri Kamal Hasan. Mr Hasan said that despite setbacks and dark moments normal life must go on. He congratulated the organizer for putting together such a rich collection of movies. Shri Digambar Kamat ,Chief Minister of Goa in his remarks said that IFFI 2008 was a landmark event. He said that Government of Goa is keen to develop the State as a hub of entertainment industry. He said that additional multiplexes and other facilities are being created in in the state.
The Jury Chairperson Mr Peter Chan said that the Jury process took them to the various cultures from the all the corners of globe. Decision was not easy but it was unanimous , said the eminent director. Festival Director Shri S M Khan thanked all the individuals and organizations associated with the Festival for putting together a grand extravaganza. Joint Secretary (Films), Ministry of Information & Broadcasting ,Shri V.B.Pyarelal said that the Festival gave us an opportunity to experience the visual interpretation of the various facets of life. He said that the occupancy remained very high throughout the Festival as compared to last year. 83 Indian movies including 47 in the Indian Panorama were screened. As Indian Panorama was screened twice there were total of 130 screening of Indian films under seven different segments. Besides the section Indian Panorama wherein 26 Feature and 21 Non Feature films were screened, Centenary tributes were paid to Bimal Roy, Devika Rani and L V Prasad. Under the Lifetime Classics, Dilip Kumar, Lata Mangeshkar, B. Saroja Devi and Tapan Sinha were screened. G. P. Sippy, B. R. Chopra, F. C. Mehra, Jayshree Gadkar, Raghuvaran, Mahendra Kapoor, Jeeva, Sridhar, Vijay Tendulkar and Nabendu Ghosh were paid tribute under Homage section. A talk by Ms. Kishwar Desai on 'Devika Rani and Himanshu Rai: Globalization of early Indian Cinema' was delivered. Taj Mahal: A Celluloid Journey screened four films based on Taj Mahal to showcase the monument. There was a section to commemorate 75 years of Kannada Cinema. Treasure from the National Film Archives were also showcased at the Festival.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Golden Lamp Tree Award at IFFI ,2008

Nicolas Provost’s Plot Point (Belgium) received Golden Lamp Tree Award at first ever Exhibition-cum-business platform for Short Films ,Short Film Center of Entertaintment society of Goa. Geetika Narang’s Good Night, a story of retired engineer who has decided to start his life afresh, got Silver Lamp Tree. Gabriel Brennen’ L’Ecrivain/The Writer received Special Jury Award. Spanish Director Albert Bayona’s short film Monday to Friday bagged Vasudha Award for the best short film on environmental issues.

Golden Lamp Tree Award, carrying a cash price of Rs 5 lakh went to Provost’s 15 minutes of seemingly random succession of shots of Manhattan sidewalks. The film questions of boundaries between reality and fiction by merely suggesting cinematic narrative codes(tension curve, climax, plot point) but ultimately leaves the mystery unrevealed. The second award to Good Night carry cash prize of Rs 3 Lakh and Special Jury award carries the cash award of Rs two lakh.
Vasudha Award a replica of Goddess Gajalaxmi in her abode at Valpoi, Sattari in Goa. Depicting Jal Water Jamin Land and Jungle. The trophy is designed by Gurudas M Kamat the regional coordinator of the Indian Documentary Producers Associations. Bayona’s film an audiovisual about the environment change and human interference in landscape by alien elements.
Giving away the awards Shri Pratap Singh Rane congratulated the winners and congratulated IFFI and ESG for taking this valuable initiative. CEO ESG Manoj Shrivastava called it a fulfillment of long pending desire of short filmmakers in the country. Noted Filmmaker and president of IDPA Janu Barua said that the selection was a tough task and hoped that the platform like Short Film Center will give the short films a platform to flourish. Festival Director Shri S .M .Khan also spoke on the occasion..

Kamal Hassan The Guest Of Honour of IFFI Closing Ceremony

39th International Film Festival of India (IFFI) will conclude today with a simple closing ceremony in which the noted actor Kamal Hassan will be the Chief Guest and the screening of Iranian film "Song of Sparrows" of well known filmmaker Majid Majidi. Goa is hosting this prestigious festival of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting ,Govt. of India for the fifth consecutive year. The festival was inaugurated by Rekha ,the known actor of yester years on November 22 with Peter Chan's "The Warlords" being the opening film. About 225 films from 40 countries were screened during the period. Though the Mumbai terror attacks cast a shadow over the prestigious festival . The IFFI passed off in a peaceful manner but not without controversies.The screening of M F Husain's documentary "Through the Eyes of a Painter" was deferred following threats by some Hinduata organisations but was finally shown after the film fraternity raised objections .As many as 15 films from the competition section are competing for the coveted Golden Peacock. An international jury headed by Peter Chan is entrusted with this task.. The silver peacock will go to the Best Director and the Best Debut Director. The number of delegates increased from 4,000 to 6,000 this year.The retrospective of Aki Kaurismaki was the main attraction of the fest. Indian Panorama section comprising 26 feature films and 19 non-features. A team of dedicated officials from the Directorate of Film Festival under the leadership of Sh.Pyarelal Joint Secretary in the I&B Ministry , Shri S.M Khan Festival Director ,supported by Shanker Mohan ,senior Deputy Director and Sajith ,Deputy Director devoted their days and nights .The unstinted support of Press Information Bureau ,Photo Division officials helped the DFF to make the festival a success.