Thiruvananthapuram, December 7: The Kerala government will help promote and protect the Malayalam film industry, Chief Minister Oommen Chandy said.
He was speaking after inaugurating the 18th International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK) here on Friday.
“A marketing wing has been created under the Kerala State Chalachitra Academy (KSCA) to promote Malayalam cinema globally. It will also act as a platform where budding talents can discuss their ideas,” he said.
Comparing the annual frenzy surrounding the IFFK to that found during the Onam season, he said the festival had been a positive influence on the Malayalam film industry.
“The number of new releases in Malayalam with innovative and different themes have increased manifold. IFFK, which showcases a wide range of movies from ace and accepted film-makers globally, has paved the way for this,” Mr. Chandy said.
Search for land was on to set up a film complex for IFFK, he said.
Thousands made a living from the industry and the government had taken steps to protect the industry from piracy, he added.
Chief guest Shabana Azmi, who recalled visiting the city more than a decade ago to inaugurate the KSCA, appreciated the government for encouraging and promoting the film festival.
“Mainstream movies are made with the intention of making profit. But, movies screened at the festival are a reflection of the creativity of the film-maker. Art should be used as a medium to change society,” she said.
Mr. Chandy presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Spanish director Carlos Saura, a fixture in cinema from that region in a career spanning almost 60 years and 44 films.
“In the technology-driven world of today, we should not forget that the most important contemporary art forms are photography and cinema. But photographs become history the moment you finish it. So, only cinema is the only total art form that remains,” Mr. Saura said in his acceptance speech.
The Kerala Sangeetha Nataka Akademi, in association with KSCA, will stage a mix of Indo-Spanish art forms as a tribute to Mr. Saura at Co-Bank Towers on Sunday.