Postponed IFFK to be held in February-March

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Thiruvananthapuram, Jan 1 (PTI): The 25th edition of the International Film Festival of Kerala (IFFK), postponed from last month due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be held in February-March in compliance with safety protocols.

This time, the movie gala will be held in four regions in the state, though it is usually held at its permanent venue in the state capital.

Themuch-awaited event used to attract about 14,000 delegates hereevery year and the new decision is to avoid the usual heavy rush, Minister for Cultural Affairs A K Balan said here.

'The film festival will be held in four zones of the state this year-Thiruvananthapuram, Ernakulam, Thalassery and Palakkad.

The event will be held fully in adherence with COVID protocols,' he told reporters.

It does not seem appropriate to cancel a prestigious event like IFFK which had garnered global attention, the minister added.

The gala would be organised for five days each in each zone- from February 10-14 in the state capital, 17-21 in Ernakulam, 23-27in Thalassery and from March 1-5 in Palakkad.

Movies would be screened in five theatres for five days under various categories in each region.

Giving details of the programme, Balan said entry of delegates would be restricted to 200 in each theatre.

The event this time is being organised in different places in the wake of the spread of the coronavirus and Thiruvananthapuram would continue to be the permanent venue of the IFFK, the minister said.

The inaugural ceremony would be held in Thiruvananthapuram and the concluding session in Palakkad, he said, adding that the usual public programmes or cultural events, which attract large crowds, would not be held.

Delegates should fully comply with COVID-19 protocol and would be allowed entry in theatres only after thermal screening, he said.

Seats can be provided by strictly maintaining social distance.

Theatres would be sanitised after each screening, he said.

The state Film Academy, the organiser of the event, in collaboration with the Health Department, would make arrangements for antigen testing.

'Delegate passes will be issued to only those who test negative for the virus.

Passes will be issued to only those who submit a COVID negative certificate, taken 48 hours before the beginning of the event,' the minister added. PTI LGKAPR ADMINISTRATOR LGKAPR ADMINISTRATOR