The first edition of the All Lights India International Film Festival (ALIIFF), which begins here on Sunday, promises to create a healthy platform to cater to film lovers with over 100 films from across the globe and facilitate production and distributions deals for Indian as well as international films.
Critically-acclaimed Iranian film "Taxi" by Jafar Panahi will open the five-day fest, which is being organised by the All Lights Film Society along with Film Employees Federation of Kerala (FEFKA).
The festival will also host South Asia's biggest film market - Indywood Film Market (IFM).
According to IFM director Shyam Kurup, the main objective of the festival is to promote film market culture in India.
"India hosts film festivals that take place across several states. But our participation in a film market has always been limited and even as a concept it has not been widely appreciated. Hence, we decided to create IFM," Kurup told IANS.
"It will be the perfect synergy of film market and film festival," he added.
IFM, which will take place at the fest between November 16-18, will kickstart by honouring film trade and business.
The International Film Business Awards (IFBA) will honour the top distributors and sales agents of international and Indian trade regions.
"Distributors and producers are the people who contribute most to the business trade but eventually are also the most underrated lot. IFBA will honor them for their contributions," Kurup added.
Nearly 50 international buyers are expected to attend the festival.
"At most Indian film festivals, the focus has largely been on Bollywood and independent films. We are not limiting to one industry as we have films from Malayalam, Marathi and so many other regional languages in the film market," Kurup said, adding that buyers from a few countries have already shown keen interest in some of the films.
"As part of IFM, we hope at least 20 Indian films find distribution deals for international release," he said.
The festival will be screening a total of 131 films from 34 countries across 18 sections.
2015 is the Golden Jubilee year of legendary filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan's filmmaking and to commemorate the same, ALIIFF will screen 'Master Crafts of Adoor' and the films to be showcased in this category are "Koodiyettam" (1978) and "Anantharam" (1987).
The festival will also pay tribute to the late Yash Chopra by holding a retrospection of his movies.
A total of 50 films will compete for the prestigious Golden Frame Awards in the festival under the categories Feature Films, Debut Filmmaker's Film, Indywood Panorama, Documentary & Documentary Features and Short Films.
The films will be evaluated by an eminent jury led by Iranian Director Khosro Masoumi.
Czech and Slovak films will be screened in the Country Focus section.
Marathi film industry led by Subodh Bhave and noted film maker Gajendra Ahire shall represent the Guest Indian industry.
The festival has thematic showcases like Cinema for Care, Cinema for Women, Cinema for Children, World Cinema and Musicals. Other categories where films would be screened are Malayalam movie section, NETPAC Award winning films and special screenings.
The festival will also feature a series of workshops on Digital Film Making & Photography, Acting, Documentary Making and Crowd Funding.
Apart from these, interactive sessions with Bollywood director Kabir Khan and filmmaker Lijo Jose Pellissery will also be hosted by ALIIFF.
Kurup believes the festival will be a "trendsetter" for Indian film festivals with its unique features.
"We have brand ambassadors for each language. While Kamal Haasan will be for Tamil cinema, Venkatesh and Sudeep will represent Telugu and Kannada industries respectively. Superstar Mohanlal will represent Malayalam filmdom," he said.
Actors Prosenjith Chatterjee and Subodh Bhave will serve as respective ambassadors for Bengali and Marathi film industries.
The festival will conclude on November 19.